Good posture is an essential part of maintaining overall health and helping live pain-free. Unfortunately, many of us have developed poor posture habits from our sedentary lifestyles and constant use of technology. Whether hunching over a desk all day or looking down at a smartphone repeatedly, these behaviors can lead to a host of problems like chronic pain, poor circulation, breathing difficulties, and even poor moods. The good news is that posture therapy programs like Activ8 Posture can help restore your body to good posture.
In this article, we answer the question, “What is posture therapy?” including what it helps and how it can benefit you.
What is Posture Therapy?
Put simply, posture therapy is a form of rehabilitation and training that focuses on correcting alignment along with improving mobility, stability, and muscle function. It can help to relieve pain, increase strength and flexibility, and improve your overall health and wellness.
All posture therapy is not the same, however, as some focus on empowering you to take control of your health while others may create more of a dependence. Also, some may focus on specific areas of the body in isolation while others focus on a whole-body, holistic approach. Some of the therapy options that focus on posture include chiropractic care, physical therapy, yoga, Pilates, and approaches like Activ8 Posture that focus on specific corrective and functional strengthening exercises.
The posture therapists at Activ8 Posture, for example, work with you (in-person or virtual) to identify the root causes of chronic pain conditions and underlying musculoskeletal dysfunction of poor posture using a whole-body, holistic approach. They then work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to address compensations and dysfunctions using specific posture-correction exercises. The goals include education and empowerment of clients to take control of their body and health.
With the guidance of a skilled therapist, you can train your body on how to sit, stand, and move in ways that reduce stress on your body, boost energy, and improve overall health. So, if you're ready to take charge of your body, start exploring the benefits of posture therapy today.
Take the first step towards your posture transformation today! Schedule a discovery call with a trained, experienced Posture Therapist.
What Causes Poor Posture
While there are some familiar poor posture patterns, your imbalances and misalignments are unique to your personal life experiences. Starting from birth, your body has responded and adapted to stimuli, activities, injuries, and more. Further, physiological and psychological factors play a role in the causes of postural dysfunctions.
Common causes of poor posture:
- Sitting at a desk all day. Prolonged sitting and poor ergonomics can lead to the development of poor posture habits, such as slouching and hunching over.
- Past Injuries. Most people move on from an injury when the pain subsides, but the problem may persist in the form of poor mechanics that lead to compensations and misalignments of your posture.
- Repetitive motions. Repeated movement patterns like carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder can cause the shoulder to drop and the spine to curve, leading to postural issues.
- Lack of physical activity. Regular exercise and physical activity can help to maintain muscle tone and improve posture, but a sedentary lifestyle can lead to muscle weakness and poor posture.
- Poor muscle tone. Weak muscles in the back, shoulders, spine, and pelvis can lead to poor posture, as they are unable to support the body properly.
- Stress. Psychological stressors such as anxiety, depression, or trauma can result in the musculoskeletal system responding with poor posture. Physical stressors such as excess body weight, past injuries, or workloads can cause compensations and posture deviations as well.
Common posture deviations:
- Slouching or hunching over
- Forward head
- Rounded shoulders
- Text neck or tech neck
- Tilted head (ears not level)
- Leaning the body to one side
- Lordosis or arching the lower back
- Anterior pelvic tilt or lower cross syndrome
Common consequences of poor posture:
- Increased muscle tension: When the load-bearing joints don’t stack up as they should, this increases tension up and down the body.
- Reduced mobility and range of motion: Posture deviations create additional muscle imbalances and compensations, causing joint restriction.
- Persistent chronic pain: Depending on the nature of the posture dysfunction patterns and demands you put on the body, back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and other pains and limitations can occur.
- Increased risk of injury: When the body has misalignments, muscle tension and movement restrictions can and often do, lead to injuries.
- Breathing difficulty: With slouching or hunching over, the upper back rounds and can make breathing more difficult without properly using the diaphragm.
- Poor circulation: Your muscles are supposed to work as pumps to help with blood flow and move lymph through the body. With misalignments come muscle tension and immobility that can restrict proper circulation.
- Fatigue more easily: When you’re dealing with posture dysfunctions, including all of the problems listed above, you are fighting your own body and inefficiencies.
How Posture Therapy Can Help
Posture therapy can help to improve your alignment, give pain relief, increase strength and flexibility, and improve overall health and wellness. Here are some of the benefits that posture therapy can offer:
- Improving Alignment: A posture therapist will work with you to identify the root causes of your problematic posture and develop a personalized treatment plan for correction. This includes specific posture exercises to reposition your body, strengthen weak muscles, stretches to improve flexibility, and ergonomic adjustments. By restoring proper alignment, posture therapy can help to reduce stress on your joints and muscles, improve breathing and circulation, and enhance your appearance.
- Pain Relief: Poor posture can lead to chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, back, and many other body areas. It can also keep injuries from healing properly. A good posture therapy program can help to alleviate your pain by releasing tension in the muscles, improving the range of motion, and reducing inflammation. By working directly with a posture therapist, you can learn how to sit, how to stand, and how to move in ways that promote good alignment and reduces stress on your body.
- Increasing Strength and Flexibility: Posture therapy can help to improve your muscle function, flexibility, and strength to make you less susceptible to future problems. By working directly with a therapist, you can learn exercises that balance specific muscles that need waking up and stretches that help to improve flexibility. This can help to prevent injuries, increase energy levels, and improve overall mobility and function of your body.
- Improving Overall Health and Wellness: Good posture is a critical component for maintaining overall health and wellness. As mentioned above, having poor posture can lead to a host of problems, such as chronic pain, poor circulation, and respiratory difficulties. Posture therapy can help to alleviate these and other associated problems by restoring proper alignment, relieving pain, and increasing full-body strength and flexibility. Further, by working on posture, people can improve their self-confidence, self-esteem, and give a boost to their mental health.
So, a holistic posture therapy program can be used to treat a wide range of conditions and injuries, from chronic pain conditions like lower back pain, neck pain, and headaches to sports-related injuries and pre- or post-surgical rehabilitation. Also, posture therapy can be used in preventative measures to help individuals to achieve and maintain good posture while helping to prevent future pain and injury.
All said, posture therapy is a powerful tool for making a complete posture transformation, helping you to show up as your best self physically and psychologically. Whether you're dealing with chronic pain currently or just want to improve your posture, posture therapy programs like Activ8 Posture can help.
How to Find a Posture Therapist
Finding the right posture therapist can be challenging, but there are several ways to help you find a qualified professional to help your unique situation. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Ask for recommendations from someone who has done it: A friend, colleague or family member may be able to provide you with recommendations for qualified posture therapists in your area.
- Research therapists online: You can search for posture therapists in your area using online directories and reading reviews from past clients.
- Look for training and experience background: Look for someone who is part of a reputable organization and with trained, experienced therapists on their team.
- Consider their specific experience: Look for a posture therapist who has experience working with people who’ve had similar conditions or goals to your own.
Overall, it's important to find a posture therapist who you feel comfortable with and who has the skills and expertise to help you achieve your goals. Don't be afraid to ask questions up front or shop around to find the right one for you. Also, while holistic therapies don’t normally take insurance directly, you can see if your provider, or HSA of FSA plan, covers posture alignment therapy and what the requirements for coverage are.
In summary, posture therapy is a great way to overcome nagging chronic pain conditions, improve alignment, increase functional strength and flexibility, and improving your overall health and wellness. So, whether you're currently dealing with a pain condition or want to improve your posture for all of the benefits we discussed, posture therapy can help.
No matter your age, it's never too late (or too early) to start working on improving your posture. One of the great qualities of the human body is that it’s extremely forgiving and responsive, so whether you're dealing with chronic pain or want to improve your fitness, health, or athletic performance, posture therapy can help. The benefits of correct posture far outweigh the time it takes to achieve it.
And, with the guidance of a skilled therapist, you can learn how to sit, stand, and move in ways that foster good alignment and reduce unwelcome stresses on your body. Finding the right-fit posture therapist can make all the difference in getting the results you’re looking for. So, do your diligence and ask questions to qualify those you’re looking to work with.
Ready to take control of your posture and live pain-free? Schedule a free discovery call with a qualified posture therapist at Activ8 Posture today.
On the call, we will answer your questions and determine if we’re a good match for your condition and goals. From there, should you decide to move forward, we'll work together to evaluate your specific needs and develop a personalized treatment plan that's tailored to your lifestyle. Whether you’re an athlete or trying to restore your health, we’d love to get to know more about you on a discovery call.