On the outside, our bodies appear symmetrical. If we split you down the middle, your ears would be at about the same height, your arms would hang down to almost the same location on either side, and your legs would be essentially the same length. However, inside our body is a different story. Some organs sit on the left side of your body, others are on the right, and some muscles are actually bigger on one side of your body than on the other. Over time, these muscle deficiencies can become more exaggerated as certain muscles are used more frequently and become conditioned to activity, while others are less used and remain underdeveloped.
This differentiation in muscle and structure development is exactly what postural restoration is designed to correct. Below, we take a closer look at postural restoration and talk about how we use the technique at our clinic.
Understanding Postural Restoration
Postural restoration, per the institute that helped develop the therapy technique, is designed to “help explore and explain the science of postural adaptation in the body, asymmetrical patterns, and the influence of polyarticular chains of muscles.” That may sound like a bunch of jargon, but it relates to what we spoke about in the intro.
As you get older, you begin to develop certain movement patterns. For example, maybe you always use your right arm to help push you up from a seated position, which leads to repetitive action and inactions by certain muscle groups. Or maybe, due to degenerative changes in your spine, you’ve begun to develop scoliosis, and it is negatively affecting how you move. Postural restoration helps you understand the influence your bones and muscles play on your body’s posture and functionality, and it works to correct deficiencies.
Through movement screenings, balance tests and other functional scoring, your physical therapist can help determine where asymmetrical issues are causing problems in your body. With postural restoration, a certified physical therapist can:
- Determine which muscle groups are underutilized
- Determine which muscle groups are overstressed
- Implement specific exercises and target or ignore these muscle groups, with a goal of improving certain functions, like hip movement, breathing ability or other parts of the body related to your posture
Postural restoration can be used to address a number of different health conditions. For example, posture adjustments and muscle function improvements can help correct issues like migraines, fatigue, muscle pain, respiratory issues, jaw pain, decreased athletic ability, balance problems, scoliosis or joint dysfunction, and the list goes on.
It may sound a little complex, but leave that part to us. Our physical therapists who have been trained in postural restoration can spot the specific movement patterns that signal deficiencies between muscle groups, and from there we can implement a training program to help target the right areas. Performed correctly, we can help decrease your daily pain, free you from chronic headaches or improve your athletic performance and balance. If you’re dealing with any of the issues that postural restoration can correct, consider setting up an appointment with a member of our team today. Give us a call at (952) 922-0330 for more information.