Postural therapy is an approach based on the idea that poor posture can shorten some muscles and lengthen others. Combined with muscular tightness and weakness, this can lead to chronic or acute pain and loss of optimal function. Postural therapy begins with a postural analysis, which is primarily used by chiropractors and sports medicine practitioners to examine the body’s structural integration and look for muscular or joint imbalance.
First, your chiropractor will complete a thorough history and exam. Your chiropractor will then search for any problems that might be at the root of poor posture, analyzing the spinal curves, your ability to move, and the alignment of your spine. Some of the postural analyses employed by a chiropractor may include:
- changes in your stance (such as one or both feet turning out)
- alignment of the knees
- level of the hips or pelvis
- height difference between the shoulders
- tilting of the head or neck
- forward tilt of the pelvis
- forward head translation
- increase in the spinal curvature
- decrease (straightening or flattening) of normal spinal curvature
- changes to gait (walking)
Once she has made a diagnosis, she will develop a treatment plan to address the root of the complaint, be it joint dysfunction, core muscle weakness, short leg, scoliosis, a muscle imbalance, strain, or sprain. The treatment might include chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue work such as massage, activity modification with an emphasis on proper ergonomics, and/or rehabilitative exercise.