In all my years of experience of treating back and neck pain - I have found that if you do not first correct a client’s posture, they will not have a full recovery from their back and neck pain.
Once I have eased my client of their pain, posture correction is the very next thing that we tackle together. Put simply, long-term resolution of back and neck pain relies on this correction.
Postural correction is both positional (obtaining the correct postions for YOUR particular body parts!) and strength-related (strengthening particular muscles to hold your positional posture).
Let’s run through positional posture correction and strength-related postural work in turn:
Positional posture correction
Is where your physiotherapist shows you the correct positions for individual body parts as well as when they work in unison.
It is essential for you to take this information on board - ask questions if you do not understand - and apply it from the outset. With initial practice, this learned awareness becomes more familiar and easier to hold, at which stage you should progress to strength-related posture exercises.
Relies on your understanding of positional posture, and your ability to arrange your body parts into their correct positions (this will take initial concentration and effort and practice).
Strength-related postural work involves a series of exercises devised to strengthen the muscles involved in holding your body parts in their correct position. The goal is that once these muscles are strong enough, they will automatically hold you in a good posture, and the intense effort and concentration required at the outset will be reduced greatly.
Posture Correction - have an expert assist you.
Following treatment, people sometimes ask if a gym fitness program is good for posture correction? If you have back pain and poor posture, the answer is generally no - as without the knowledge of what you are trying to correct - you may can reinforce old movement patterns or postural habits posture. And these are often the underlying cause of your pain.
For the best results it really does make a difference if you get your posture professionally analysed and follow a prescribed treatment program. You need to make yourself aware of any postural habits or movement patterns you may have, and learn specific exercises to correct them.
A good Physical Therapist (Chartered Physiotherapist in the UK and Ireland) would be my recommended person of choice to carry out posture analysis, and then prescribe and teach you a tailored program that will work for you - and then encourage you to see it through.
For my own practice, Pilates is my programme of choice that I use for strength-related postural work as I find it to be both safe and effective. A good Pilates instructor can also help you on your way, but they should work in conjunction with your physiotherapist if you have back pain. If you run into any difficulty they should communicate with each other as required.
While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.
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