Physical and Massage Therapy Associates
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Washington, DC 20016
More Complementary & Integrative Healthcare Articles
Postural Evaluation and Physical Therapy
Often we catch ourselves slouching, tilting our pelvis or leaning forward on the computer. We experience dull aches and pains behind our neck and shoulders or our lower back. We generally just complain about having bad posture and try to sit straight. This works for a few hours or days and then we go back to where we were.
Postural abnormality is a medical problem that needs proper treatment. Most postural problems start with a small habit, that if ignored, can lead to severe problems requiring intensive surgical intervention.
The most common factors that lead to poor posture are
Functional physiological abnormalities
Excessive muscle tightness
Excessive muscle weakness
Weakness due to over-stretched muscles
Posture abnormalities are very subjective. It's not possible to find
out the cause of the abnormality without having a physical therapy postural evaluation done. Every human being is unique and every problem is unique too.
Unfortunately, people don't pay a lot of attention to these seemingly minor problems. We are likely to ignore the problems until they get bad enough to bother our lifestyle. We spend more time, money and efforts in treatment rather than prevention.
Recent research shows that the amount of money spent to save the life of a person in their last two days is more than the amount of money spent in the rest of that person's whole life. This is because our medical system is based on treatment rather than prevention. Prevention is always better than cure. People are becoming more aware of this, and have started getting help from all possible allied health professionals.
Many people who are not in the medical field have no idea about the efficiency of physical therapy in improving postural alignment and preventing complications.
Specially trained physical therapists can help you evaluate your posture and biomechanical alignments by examining your medical history, observing your behavior, and taking an objective physical examination. Once the examination is done a physical therapist will explain the details or findings. He/she will then make a home care plan that can be done by yourself. If the problems are medical, the physical therapist will design a treatment protocol.
The physical therapist will treat the problems by using different physical therapy modalities like electrical stimulation, ultrasound and massage, stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, endurance training and neuromuscular re-education.
It's way more challenging to treat postural abnormalities after 45 years. Ideally 20-45 years is the best age group to get started with your postural plan of care. Sometimes, people ignore the preventive steps, which can lead to more serious consequences like muscle strain, disc bulge, facet joint dysfunction, arthritis, and neural entrapment syndrome.
Physical therapy (with your physician's prescription) that addresses postural/medical problems is usually covered by most insurances.
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