Postural dysfunction, bad posture, or poor posture – whatever you may call it, has become a common problem for many people. And it’s quite a serious issue because bad posture eventually leads to back pain, neck pain, and other health issues. Not to forget that it affects appearance and personality as well. But as concerning as it sounds, there are various methods and treatments for fixing bad posture. One of the most effective and proven methods is physical therapy for posture correction.
So let’s take a closer look at the causes of bad posture, how it can affect one’s daily life and health, and most importantly, how physiotherapy can fix bad posture.
Causes and Negative Effects of Bad Posture
Poor posture is a condition that develops over time, and here are some well-known factors that contribute to it:
- Inactive, sedentary lifestyle with little to no exercise and physical activity
- Spending a long time sitting sprawled on chairs and sofas
- Spending hours at a stretch working in front of the computer
- Day-to-day office and desk jobs that require people to be seated on their chairs for a long time
Many people often neglect the seriousness of postural dysfunction, and many more believe they can fix it by just reminding themselves to sit or walk straight whenever they are slouching. But if not corrected on time, poor posture can create more health problems, such as:
- Neck and back pain
- Respiratory issues
- Weak spine, muscles, and joints
- Poor blood circulation
And there’s always the lingering issue of your posture affecting your appearance, aesthetics, and personality. Fortunately, a proper physiotherapy regimen can significantly improve your posture and avoid all these additional problems that come with it.
Is Physical Therapy Good for Bad Posture?
Yes, it is.
Postural dysfunction is one of the many conditions that can be corrected with physical therapy. Many exercises, if performed regularly over time, can gradually fix bad posture. You can benefit from physical therapy for bad posture in five main ways.
1. Strengthens the muscles
People with poor posture exert more stress on the muscles around their upper back and neck, weakening them over time. To restore correct posture, these muscles must regain strength to hold your head and upper body upright. This issue can be fixed with specific physiotherapy exercises designed to improve muscular strength in the back and neck region.
2. Improves muscle and joint flexibility
Another common symptom of poor posture is stiffness or rigidity. When you’re slumped for too long, the muscles in the back become rigid, and it will be difficult or even painful to adjust to any other position. That is why muscle spasms caused by poor seating posture are quite common.
With regular physical therapy, you can perform various stretching exercises like lumbar rolls, shoulder blade squeeze, and cat-cow, to name a few. These exercises slowly release the tension in stressed muscles and joints and greatly improve muscular flexibility over time which helps to maintain proper posture.
3. Improves spinal strength
The spine takes a major toll due to bad posture because prolonged postural dysfunction puts uneven pressure on different areas of the spine and can even lead to spine curvatures. But just like your muscles, physiotherapy can slowly recover your spinal strength as well, which provides additional support to your back.
4. Relieves pain caused by bad posture
Poor posture often causes back and neck pains, making it difficult to do any other stretching or strengthening exercises. But some exercises and other forms of physical therapy, like special massages, can relieve back and neck pain, allowing you to perform other exercises more efficiently to correct bad posture. There are many effective exercises, such as Pilates for back pain.
5. Regular conditioning of posture
Posture doesn’t go wrong in a day. Whether it’s your job requiring you to be on your office chair for hours, or an inactive lifestyle in general, it takes a long time for your posture to go from good to bad. So it’s only natural that fixing it will also take time and consistent efforts. And that can be done with a regular physical therapy regimen. Most physical therapy exercises can even be performed regularly and take only a few minutes.
Through regular conditioning of muscles and spine over a certain period, physical therapy will lead to massive improvements in your posture.
How Long Before Physical Therapy Works For Posture Correction?
The positive effects of physical therapy for bad posture are undeniable, but it’s not a quick process. As we said earlier, it takes time for posture to go wrong, so correcting it will also be a long-term process. It also depends on the level or extent of postural dysfunction. Extremely crooked or slouched posture can take many months to fix. That is why patience and consistency are key to improving poor posture with physiotherapy.
Physical therapy involves many exercises that can make your muscles, joints, and spine stronger and more flexible. A certified physiotherapist can choose the best physiotherapy regimen to correct your posture with a proper diagnosis. Results are not instant, but regular physical therapy sessions and exercises will create a huge difference in your posture, thereby keeping other related health problems at bay and improving your physique and appearance.