Simple Techniques to Help Your Patients Improve Their Posture at Home.

Correct Posture

Physiotherapy Techniques for Improved Posture and Mobility

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in helping patients improve their posture, mobility, and overall well-being. By incorporating simple exercises and stretches into daily routines, patients can experience significant benefits in flexibility, strength, and pain reduction. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss ten physiotherapy techniques that chiropractors and other healthcare professionals can recommend to their patients for improved posture and mobility at home.

1. Seated Exercises

Seated exercises are perfect for individuals who spend long hours at a desk or have limited mobility. These exercises can be easily performed while sitting in an upright chair, making them convenient and accessible for most patients.

1.1. Seated Chin Tucks

Seated chin tucks are an excellent exercise for combating forward head posture, which often occurs due to prolonged sitting or computer use. This exercise strengthens the deep neck flexor muscles that help maintain proper head alignment.

  • Sit with an upright posture
  • Create a double chin by sinking your head in, rather than tilting it backward
  • Feel a slight pull in the back of your head
  • Hold the position for a few seconds before releasing
  • Repeat 8-10 times, performing 3-4 sessions a day

1.2. Scapular Retraction

Scapular retractions are essential for strengthening the muscles that support the shoulder blades and reducing slumped forward posture.

  • Sit with an upright posture
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together without elevating your shoulders
  • Imagine holding a pencil or finger between your shoulder blades
  • Hold the position for a few seconds before releasing
  • Complete 3 sets of 10 reps in a session or as part of your warm-up

2. Standing Exercises

Standing exercises can be performed anywhere – in the office, at home, or even while waiting in line. These exercises focus on strengthening the upper back and opening up the chest to promote proper posture.

2.1. Reverse High Five

This simple exercise helps strengthen the upper back muscles and improve posture.

  • Stand tall and shrug your shoulders up towards your ears, then relax them down
  • Turn your palms to face the back of the room
  • Press your hands back as if giving someone a double high five
  • Pulse 10 times and then rest

2.2. Chest Opener

The chest opener is a gentle stretch that opens up the chest and shoulders, counteracting the effects of prolonged sitting or hunching over a desk.

  • Clasp your hands behind your back and push down towards the ground
  • Reach your arms away from your body, open your chest, and lift your head up
  • Feel a stretch across your chest
  • Hold for 5 breaths and then release

3. Whole Body Posture Exercises

Whole body posture exercises focus on decompressing the spine and promoting overall spinal health.

3.1. Decompression Using Standing Kitchen Sink

This exercise helps to decompress the spine and alleviate tension from prolonged sitting.

  • Find a sturdy surface to hold onto, such as a kitchen sink
  • Lean back and straighten your elbows, allowing your weight to shift behind you
  • Hold the position for 20-30 seconds, taking deep breaths and relaxing into the stretch
  • Repeat 2-3 times as needed throughout the day

3.2. Cat & Cow (Use low range of motion)

The cat and cow exercise is a gentle spine mobility movement that can help energize the lower back muscles.

  • Begin by kneeling on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and knees below your hips
  • Exhale and arch your spine gently
  • Hold for 2 seconds
  • Inhale and tighten your core, rounding your back
  • Hold for 2 seconds
  • Aim for 10 repetitions

4. Upper Back Posture Exercises

These exercises target the upper back and neck muscles, helping to alleviate pain and improve posture.

4.1. Doorway Stretch

The doorway stretch is a simple exercise that can help to loosen tight chest and shoulder muscles caused by prolonged sitting.

  • Stand in an open doorway, positioning your elbows and hands in line with the doorframe
  • Step through the door slowly until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds before returning to the starting position
  • Repeat 3 times

4.2. Upper Trapezius Stretch

This stretch targets the neck and upper back muscles, which can become tight due to forward head posture.

  • Begin in a standing or seated position
  • Place one hand on the opposite side of your head and tuck the other hand behind your back
  • Gently press your head down towards your shoulder, using the top hand for added pressure
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and perform on both sides

5. Lower Back & Core Posture Exercises

Lower back and core posture exercises help to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, reducing the risk of injury and alleviating pain.

5.1. Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch targets tight hip flexors, which are commonly seen in individuals with anterior pelvic tilt.

  • Begin by kneeling on a soft surface
  • Bring your right leg forward, placing your foot flat on the ground with your knee above your ankle
  • Keep your left knee in contact with the surface, bent at 90 degrees
  • Slide your right foot forward and brace your core, squeezing your right glute and shifting your hips forward
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side

5.2. Bird Dog

The bird dog is an excellent exercise for improving core strength and lumbar back muscles.

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and knees below your hips
  • Brace your core and extend your left arm and right leg simultaneously, aligning them with your torso
  • Avoid arching your lower back
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds before returning to the starting position
  • Repeat with the opposite arm and leg, aiming for 10 repetitions on each side

6. Floor Exercises

Floor exercises can be performed on a yoga mat, rug, or even in bed, making them convenient and comfortable for patients to practice at home.

6.1. Mini Cobra

The mini cobra exercise helps to strengthen the upper back and alleviate tension in the spine.

  • Lie on your stomach with your hands flat on the ground under your shoulders
  • Pull your navel in towards your spine and squeeze your inner thighs together
  • Rest your forehead on the ground
  • Press down through your palms to lift your shoulders and chest off the ground, keeping your elbows bent
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly lower back down
  • Repeat 10 times

6.2. Arm Roll Stretch

This stretch targets the chest and armpit muscles, promoting better posture and reducing tension.

  • Lie on your stomach with your right arm extended to the side, in line with your shoulder
  • Place your left hand under your left shoulder and gently push your body to the right, rolling towards the extended arm
  • Bend your left knee and place your left foot behind your right knee for stability
  • Hold for 30 seconds or 5 deep breaths on each side