Good posture is more important than you might think. For one thing, it improves your appearance when you stand, walk, and sit with a straight back rather than being slumped over. For another, good posture can help prevent muscle strain and problems like back and neck pain. Once poor posture becomes a habit, your muscles get weak and it's difficult to maintain proper posture again. This is when physical therapy services might help. Here's how.
Identify Your Problem Areas
A physical therapist can test your muscle strength and watch the way you walk and sit to determine the weak and overdeveloped areas of your core and back muscles. You might have rounded shoulders from slumping or a head-forward position from looking at your phone all day. Once an abnormality is identified, the therapist can prescribe exercises that will help.
Teach Strengthening Exercises
Regaining proper posture may not be easy if you have weak muscles, so strengthening your muscles to provide better support for your body is important. You'll do some work under supervision until you learn the right technique, and then you'll be instructed to do the exercises at home to restore balance in all the muscles that support good posture.
Teach Stretching And Muscle Relaxation
One reason poor posture causes back and neck pain is because it puts a strain on your spine and muscles that don't normally provide as much support. This can cause some muscles to be tight and overdeveloped. One goal of physical therapy is to restore normal balance to the back and core muscles. This may require stretching and relaxing tense muscles while building up weak muscles.
Educate You On Proper Body Mechanics
Exercises alone won't restore your posture. You'll also need to learn new ways of holding your body so poor posture doesn't return and weaken your muscles again. You may be taught how to stand straight, lift with your legs, hold your phone higher when you text, and how to arrange your desk to work ergonomically.
It may take time to strengthen your muscles so you can maintain good posture easily. Plus, slumping can be habitual and more comfortable until you develop a new habit of good posture. Your appearance will improve along with your posture, and you may notice a decrease in back pain and muscle tension too. Plus, when your body is balanced and functioning normally, you can often prevent injuries that are caused by weak muscles and strains. In this way, good posture may help you ward off problems with chronic back and neck pain.