How do you maintain your posture throughout the day? Do you catch yourself slouching frequently? Do those last couple hours of the school or work day leave you hunched over and ready to leave?
If you are experiencing aches and pains, especially in your neck or back, poor posture is probably to blame. Fortunately, posture can be improved with the help of physical therapy. Contact Athletix Rehab & Recovery today to learn more about how we can improve your posture and lead a pain-free, active life!
How did my posture become poor?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “posture is the alignment and positioning of the body in relation to gravity, center of mass, or base of support.”
Poor posture isn’t anything to be embarrassed about – very few people have perfect posture, and most people partake in bad posture habits in one way or another. We become so wrapped up in whatever tasks we are doing that we forget to think about the way our bodies are positioned.
Improper posture isn’t due to laziness or apathy; rather, it generally has something to do with a physical weakness within our bodies. We slouch and slump when we feel drained because our bodies (quite literally) get tired of holding us up.
Poor posture leads to excessive strain on your joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It also weakens many of the core muscles that are needed in order to keep you upright and healthy. Posture changes occur over time and most people don’t pay attention to them until they begin to notice aches and pains.
But I exercise – shouldn’t this help?
Even if you exercise regularly, it is possible that there are still a few weak muscles contributing to your posture that you may not even realize. The muscles in your shoulders, back, abdomen, buttocks, and pelvic floor all play an important role in your posture. If even one of these is weak, your core will be affected, and your posture may suffer.
Your body is designed to align perfectly, in order to allow for proper movement of the muscles, breathing, and blood circulation. If poor posture continues, it can eventually lead to chronic conditions as you age.
What can physical therapy do for me?
Physical therapy is a great way to regain normal posture. Our physical therapists are experts in movement, and they are great resources to have when trying to achieve your physical performance goals. They will aid you in the improvement of your balance, stability, flexibility, and mobility, all of which will positively affect your posture.
At your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will perform functional testing in order to identify which weakened areas of your body are causing your back pain. Afterward, they will create a customized treatment plan, tailored to your specific needs.
Treatment plans typically include manual therapy and targeted exercises to alleviate pain and regain proper function. In fact, in a study published by the National Institutes of Health, exercise for postural improvement was proven to be successful, both in enhancing posture and improving pain among patients.
Titled, “Effect of an exercise program for posture correction on musculoskeletal pain,” this study followed 88 patients through their exercise program. By simply incorporating 20 exercise sessions into their daily schedule 3 times a week for 8 weeks, these patients reported “lower [pain levels] after the exercise program than before the program, and significant differences in pain levels were noted in the shoulders, middle back, and lower back.” Results also concluded significant improvement in posture, especially during sedentary work.
In addition to manual therapy and exercise sessions, other treatments and modalities may be added to your treatment plan as your physical therapist deems fit. This will all focus on improving your posture, increasing strength, and (most importantly) relieving pain.
How can I get started?
If you are experiencing back pain, your posture may be to blame. Fortunately, Athletix Rehab & Recovery is ready to help you begin your journey toward long-lasting pain relief.
Find out for yourself why physical therapy is one of the most effective ways to address your posture issues and corresponding back pain, so you can start on the road to recovery. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation, and figure out how physical therapy can help make you “posture perfect!”