A therapist’s guide to Postural Analysis

By Bijal Shah

Understanding a patient’s posture is a major goal for a Physical Therapist for many conditions.  A physical therapist performs postural analysis or posture assessment to determine proper anatomical alignment or posture to identify any abnormalities.   A proper/ normal posture ensures an even balance of the body and prevents a specific set of core muscles from getting overworked.   You may have heard about poor posture or an incorrect posture, and I also published a series of articles talking about different stretches to correct the upper body posture (neck, scapula, and chest).  Physical therapists always look for abnormalities to determine the imbalances that need a fix.

Our body is amazing, it automatically finds a way to compensate for a weakness, imbalance or pain. It starts favoring one side vs other, or few muscles vs others. When this happens, our posture gradually changes. Over time, this becomes obvious. In addition, using few muscles more than other starts to become uncomfortable and painful.  The postural imbalance also causes problems like a muscle spasm, and or bony changes (in chronic cases).

So, let’s talk about what a correct or ideal posture looks like.

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Posture Correction: Scapula movements

By Bijal Shah

Scapula or shoulder blades play a pivotal part in maintaining a proper posture.  In turn, movements and stretching of the scapula are crucial for posture correction.   No one likes to see a tall healthy person with rounded shoulder or humped back. Yes, if there is a medical issue and it is not fixable than that is a different story.  But, a healthy person will not make a good impression (especially the first one) with poor posture.

This is the last article in series of neck, chest and upper back movements to correct posture.  Previous articles talked about chest and neck exercises and stretch.  This article will focus on the Scapula or shoulder blade.

There are many muscles that stabilize the scapula or shoulder blade.  Some of them are deep, some are very small muscles. Some muscles are hard to get to by a massage therapist or even a physical therapist due to its position. Yet all of the muscles involved in scapula movement are equally important.  Imbalance of these muscles can result in pain on the upper back, poor posture, etc.

scapular muscles

Continue reading “Posture Correction: Scapula movements”