An Introduction to Posture Therapy: What to Expect

February 19, 2023 in Pain, Performance, Posture

Paul Schell

Good posture is a key factor in a healthy and active life, yet so many of us struggle with poor posture, which can lead to a number of pain conditions and various physical, mental, and emotional problems. That's where posture therapy comes in! Activ8 Posture’s holistic posture therapy approach is designed to correct imbalances and misalignments, retraining muscles to move your joints properly and restore strength, flexibility, body awareness, and, most importantly, good posture.

What is Posture Therapy?

Posture therapy is an evidence-based approach to treating poor posture and the accompanying musculoskeletal symptoms. Our experienced therapists are trained to identify postural imbalances, correct dysfunctional movement patterns, and improve muscular strength, mobility, stability, and function. If you have been dealing with pain or discomfort related to your posture, our team of professionals can help you achieve lasting relief. 

Activ8 Posture therapy is an effective treatment for a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Think of it as your anti-gravity solution, where we utilize specific exercises and postural stretches to restore posture, reduce pain and improve physical functioning. As such, this treatment can and does help those who suffer from chronic pain due to poor posture, impaired functioning, or injury.

correct imbalances with posture therapy

Our posture therapy includes personalized, whole-body treatment geared toward correcting muscle imbalances and boney misalignments by retraining muscles to move your body properly. We use a 3-step process to get you started on the process of posture transformation that consists of Discovery, Assessment, and a Custom Plan.

Step 1: Discovery

While most of our clients see us for pain relief when they get started, the biggest difference between postural therapy and physical therapy is focusing on the entire body (and person) versus symptom areas alone. And to better understand what has led to and is involved in your pain symptoms, movement restrictions, or posture imbalances, we need to get to know you. Therefore, we start with a discovery call to discuss details about your current condition to understand better how we can help and what it’s going to take.

Step 2: Assessment

During step 2 of the process, your posture therapist will assess your body for misalignments by doing a posture analysis and areas of weakness through various functional tests. By looking at your whole body, and not just the painful area, we can find the musculoskeletal connections that are at the root of the problem. Indeed, the site of the pain is rarely the source of the problem.

Step 3: Custom Plan

Step 3 is where we work with you on your custom, individual posture therapy plan. Each person we see is unique in their history and how their body is aligned and moving. By combining your history and current assessment, we can provide personalized corrective exercises targeting the problematic spots.

By following our 3-step process of posture therapy, you will then be set up to continue on the process of pain relief and restoration of your body to its natural design and fullest potential. Your therapist may also suggest lifestyle changes or relief techniques that can be utilized outside of the session.

Pain Relief and More: Reap the Benefits of Postural Therapy

Postural therapy offers many benefits, such as improved athletic performance, relief from chronic pain, reduced risk of injury, and improved posture. Increasing strength, flexibility, and body awareness can also help reduce your risk of injury. Additionally, postural therapy can provide a better quality of life through improved breathing, proper joint alignment, circulation, and energy levels.

posture therapy corrects imbalances

Here’s a list of benefits of good posture that includes physical and physiological effects:

  1. Improved breathing
  2. Better posture and alignment of bones and joints
  3. Reduced muscle tension and strain on joints, ligaments and soft tissue
  4. Improved circulation
  5. Increased energy levels
  6. Reduced risk of injury
  7. Enhanced athletic performance
  8. Reduced pain and discomfort
  9. Improved balance and stability
  10. Increased flexibility and range of motion
  11. Enhanced posture-related ergonomics
  12. Increased muscle strength and endurance

And here is a list of psychological and emotional benefits of good posture:

  1. Increased self-confidence
  2. Improved mood and mental clarity
  3. Reduced stress and anxiety levels
  4. Improved focus and concentration
  5. Improved self-image and body image
  6. Increased sense of control and empowerment
  7. Improved overall well-being
  8. Increased feelings of calm and relaxation
  9. Improved mental and emotional stability
  10. Enhanced feelings of strength and resilience

Another major benefit of postural therapy is the effectiveness of the holistic perspective and treatment versus focusing only on the pain area and “pain management.” As an example, let’s say that your primary goal is to eliminate low back pain. Imagine (though it happens often) that your therapist recognizes misalignment and muscle imbalances in your shoulders and upper back and identifies this as the root cause of your lower back pain. If this was physical therapy, in contrast to postural therapy, which only focused on your lumbar spine and lower back muscles (possibly because insurance only indicated treatment of your low back), then assessing and treating your shoulders would be off-limits (and could get the physical therapist into trouble).

So, the benefits of posture therapy range from pain relief, improved movement and function, and improved posture, to psychological benefits such as improved mood, confidence, and self-image. The other benefits include taking a holistic approach to healing and making your body whole again so that you can be your best, healthy self.

How to Prepare for Your Posture Therapy Session

Before coming in for a postural therapy session (or seeing us virtually), make sure to wear comfortable clothing so that you can move freely. We prefer that you wear shorts or pants that can roll up so we can see your knees when doing the assessment. On top, we’d like to see your shoulders and spine as much as possible, so we suggest a sports bra or tank top for women or no shirt or tank top for men. If you’re uncomfortable with these options, we can make do with you tucking in your shirt. Also, please bring athletic shoes with some grip or, for virtual sessions, have a yoga mat for grip as needed.

Our therapy uses a few props and minimal equipment depending on which exercises we’ll include in your custom exercise program. We have everything you’ll need in the clinic for your visits, but at home, you’ll want to make sure you have the following:

  • Enough room to back away from the camera for posture photos and functional testing. We need to see your whole body.
  • Floor space to do floor exercises. Consider how tall you are and how much room you’ll need to stretch your body and arms around you.
  • Open wall space for some of the exercises as needed. We may use the wall for guidance or as a prop for some of your exercises, so please make sure you have enough open space.
  • A sturdy chair or bench. Some exercises require sitting or using a chair as a prop.
  • Good lighting so we can see your body. Ideally, put the primary light source behind your device with the camera so we don’t get too many shadows when viewing your posture and movements.

You should also avoid eating too close to the time of your appointment and have any necessary documents ready to go (mostly done online). During the session, your therapist will likely ask questions related to your injury history, medical intake forms, and more. Being prepared with this information allows your session to be more efficient and effective.

What to Expect During Your Posture Therapy Session

posture therapy assessment

As outlined above, with each Activ8 Posture therapy session, your therapist will take you through our 3-step process. This includes Discovery, Assessment, and your Custom Plan.

The Discovery phase is where you share what you are currently experiencing and any updates from the prior sessions. If it’s your first session, we will ask you about your history and what therapies, modalities, or remedies you’ve tried or are doing currently (usually discussed on a phone call or Zoom meeting before your first appointment). We want to know if you are experiencing any body aches and pains, movement restrictions, or have past injuries — whether or not they seem related. We also want your input on what you think may be causing the issues.

The Assessment phase includes taking posture photos to evaluate your alignment and track your progress over the course of your sessions. Your posture therapist will observe how your standing posture is balanced by taking photos of all four views of your body (front, back, right, and left). Using software to place gridlines over your posture photos aids in assessing your alignment and sharing what they observe with you. In order to evaluate your movement quality, you will also be asked to do various functional screens or exercises to identify better where problems may come from. Again, our focus is on the whole body and not just the area of pain. It is in the interconnectedness of the body where we find root causes and can create solutions with you that are effective and sustainable.

Your Path to Pain Free & Active

Your Custom Plan includes sequences of corrective exercises that are adjusted as needed based on your progress throughout the sessions. With each session, as your feedback and input are given, and your body is assessed, you and your therapist will determine if changes in the routines are necessary. As your body realigns and strengthens, opportunities for making changes based on the additional progress present themselves. Of course, change happens at different rates for individuals depending on each unique case and condition. Your specific exercise sequences will be delivered to you to follow at home, with photos, instructions, and videos you can follow through a mobile app or email.

Your therapist may provide feedback on posture-related ergonomics, such as with desktop set-ups to see if you are unknowingly slouching. They may also offer other health tips as needed that complement your personalized plan.

Do I Need to Understand My Current Posture

In order to move forward with postural therapy, it’s important for you to understand how your current posture is impacting your body. Your postural therapist will take a detailed look at your body’s postural alignment and identify any issues that are impeding movement or causing discomfort. Once they have identified those areas, they can better recommend and discuss a course of treatment tailored towards improving your posture and reducing the risk of further complications.

Sure, some of our clients aren’t as interested in seeing their photos for various reasons (and that’s okay). Your therapist will still want to evaluate your standing posture and use it as a measure of your progress. What’s great about posture is that there are different ways for you to understand it that don’t include the photos. We can tap into your kinesthetic awareness to have you feel more of what is going on in your body as well. If you’re a kinesthetic learner, it can be a lot of fun feeling your way through the process!

What is also important to understand about proper posture is that it’s not only how you stand that we are interested in when doing posture therapy sessions. The standing posture is just a part of the overall assessment that takes us to observe your functional movement patterns to uncover muscle imbalances, weaknesses, and restrictions.

Say Goodbye to Pain and Hello to Good Posture

Posture therapy is an evidence-based approach that can help alleviate pain and discomfort related to poor posture. At Activ8 Posture, we integrate the science of Western medicine with the wisdom of holistic medicine to address musculoskeletal issues related to posture and various pain conditions. Our professional, experienced posture therapists are trained to identify postural imbalances, correct movement pattern dysfunctions, and improve muscular strength, mobility, stability, and function.

What Pain Conditions Does Activ8 Posture Therapy Help?

With our posture alignment therapy program, we can help individuals with many issues, including the following common problems we see:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain such as TMJ
  • Upper back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Knee pain
  • Foot pain such as plantar fasciitis
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc
  • Scoliosis
  • Arthritis pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • And much more...

Get Started Today - Schedule your call with a posture therapist to discuss your particular needs

Are you ready to take control of your body, correct posture, eliminate pain, and start your journey toward a healthier, more active life? The first step is scheduling a discovery call with one of our posture therapists. During this call, your therapist will get to know you and your specific needs to determine the best approach to correcting your posture. Poor posture can lead to various physical, mental, and emotional health issues, including the pains listed above, fatigue, poor concentration, and decreased physical performance.

By working with a posture therapist, you'll receive personalized corrective exercises that stretch and strengthen your body tailored to your individual needs and progress. With the guidance of a professional, you'll be able to assess the degree of misalignment in your body and work towards postural correction for lasting results. Don't let bad posture hold you back any longer, schedule your discovery call today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is posture therapy?

Answer: Posture therapy is a type of whole-body therapy that focuses on correcting postural imbalances and improving alignment in the body. The goal is to relieve pain, prevent future injuries, and enhance overall function by teaching people how to achieve proper posture through exercises, stretches, and other techniques. It can benefit those with chronic pain or conditions related to poor posture habits.

Question: Can you correct years of bad posture?

Answer: Yes, correcting years of bad posture with the right approach and consistency is possible. This includes incorporating exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting good posture, such as the core, spine, hips, shoulders, and upper back. It also involves being aware of your posture throughout the day and making adjustments or doing pattern-interrupting exercises to avoid slouching or hunching over. Seeking professional help from a posture therapist (like those at Activ8 Posture) can also be beneficial in correcting long-standing postural issues. You can improve your posture with time and effort for better overall health and comfort.

Question: What is the best therapy for posture?

Answer: The best therapy for improving posture will vary depending on the individual, but some common options include physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and a whole-body posture therapy program like Activ8 Posture, where you practice individualized corrective exercises to re-align your body and strengthen muscles. It's important to consult with any healthcare professional you're considering working with to determine the best fit and most effective treatment plan for your specific case. Additionally, incorporating ergonomic adjustments and incorporating good posture habits throughout the day can help improve posture in the long term.

Unlock a Better Life with Activ8 Posture! At a clinic near you or virtually

Discover the benefits of posture therapy for yourself and how it can transform your life. Whether you choose to visit us in person at one of our Boston or Los Angeles clinics or through our convenient virtual services, we'll provide you with a personalized program that's tailored to your specific needs. With our posture therapy program, you'll not only correct physical posture and alignment but also improve your muscular strength, flexibility, and balance. Then you can say goodbye to aches and pains caused by poor posture or muscle imbalances and hello to improved sports performance, daily activities, and overall health and wellness! Contact Activ8 Posture today to schedule your appointment and see the difference posture therapy can make!

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