3 Steps to Help Your Patients Achieve and Maintain Good Posture $0.00

3 Steps to Help Your Patients Achieve and Maintain Good Posture

By: Rebecca Moore | Oct 2, 2019
3 Steps to Help Your Patients Achieve and Maintain Good Posture

Today, your patients are at a natural disadvantage when it comes to posture. Whether it’s working a desk job, consistently lifting heavy objects or using their phones everyday, posture problems run rampant throughout the nation - and not without consequence. Whether your patients come to you with a problem related to poor posture or not, it is your duty to advocate for your patient’s musculoskeletal health at all times. Recognizing their postural habits during each visit will help you intervene with the right information at the right time.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, there are four advantages of correct posture1:

  • Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that muscles are used correctly
  • Reduces stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury
  • Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and prevent muscle fatigue
  • Helps prevent muscle strain and overuse disorders

To help your patients achieve better posture and optimized movement patterns, here are three easy steps you can follow daily.

3 Steps to Building Healthy Posture

3 Step to Building Healthy Posture

1. Coach Correct Posture

While establishing good posture may sound easy, you’ll find that asking your patients to do so might cause them to overcorrect, resulting in other postural problems (ex. excessive curvature of the lumbar spine). It’s important to coach your patients through what proper posture feels like and what muscles to engage. Here are eight fundamentals to cue your patient’s standing posture1:

  • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.
  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
  • Tuck your stomach in.
  • Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.
  • Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.

We’ve also written articles covering optimal positioning for sitting and sleeping postures for further guidance!

2. Prescribe Exercise with Elastic Resistance Bands

Poor posture is the result of weakened and shortened muscles. Take forward head posture, or upper-crossed syndrome, for example:

“In upper-crossed syndrome, tightness of the upper trapezius and levator scapula on the dorsal side crosses with tightness of the pectoralis major and minor. Weakness of the deep cervical flexors ventrally crosses with weakness of the middle and lower trapezius. This pattern of imbalance creates joint dysfunction, particularly at the atlanto-occipital joint, C4-C5 segment, cervicothoracic joint, glenohumeral joint, and T4-T5 segment. These focal areas of stress within the spine correspond to transitional zones in which neighboring vertebrae change in morphology. Specific postural changes are seen in upper-crossed syndrome, including forward head posture, increased cervical lordosis and thoracic kyphosis, elevated and protracted shoulders, and rotation or abduction and winging of the scapulae. These postural changes decrease glenohumeral stability as the glenoid fossa becomes more vertical due to serratus anterior weakness leading to abduction, rotation, and winging of the scapulae. This loss of stability requires the levator scapula and upper trapezius to increase activation to maintain glenohumeral centration.”2

The best way to achieve the right posture is to strengthen these weakened muscles and lengthen the tight muscles - which is where elastic resistance comes in! Exercise with an elastic resistance band is not only a great method because of its proven results, but the practicality and portability of bands like the TheraBand CLX means your patients can take the gym with them wherever they go. Check out the video below where Sue Falsone PT, MS, SCS, ATC, CSCS, COMT shares some of her favorite posture correction exercises that can be done with a band at home or in the clinic.


3. Use Kinesiology Tape or Braces for Postural Correction

Forming good posture habits can take some time. For some patients, the cueing of kinesiology tape or a posture support brace on their back may help them remember to be mindful about their posture throughout the day. Here’s an easy technique that can be done with just two pieces of tape!

Become a Posture Expert


For articles, exercises and research on posture, explore more Performance Health Academy content. You can even Ask a Clinician to speak to one of our clinical experts about applying postural correction protocol in your practice. Trust us; your patients will thank you!

Resources:

  1. https://acatoday.org/content/posture-power-how-to-correct-your-body-alignment
  2. http://www.muscleimbalancesyndromes.com/janda-syndromes/upper-crossed-syndrome/
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