What should I bring to my appointment? Please wear clothes or bring clothes to change into, that will allow for movement standing, sitting, lying on the floor. The therapist will be looking at your eight major load bearing joints: each shoulder, hip, knee, ankle. Please wear shorts so the therapist can see your knees and thighs. Women please wear a sports bra/top or tank top. Please also wear sneakers.
What will happen in my appointment? You and your therapist will discuss the pain or performance concerns that you are currently having. A postural assessment, functional testing and gait analysis will be done to determine your compensations and dysfunctions that are causing your pain. Posture photos will be taken every few visits to track the progress of your structural changes. Your therapist will develop a series of ECises, called your "Menu" to address your specific compensations and dysfunctions. Your Menu will change every visit to adapt to the musculoskeletal changes that will be taking place in your body.
Why did my posture become dysfunctional? The body can deviate from it's blueprint design for any reason such as past trauma, injury, pregnancy, weight gain/loss, activity or lack of, habitual working positions, muscular compensation begins to occur. If this compensation (muscles, bones and joints performing work they are not designed to do) continues, a deviation of body's blueprint of form and function occurs. This is the framework of the symptomatic pain cycle.Postural deviation at one or more weight bearing load joints can cause muscle, bone and joint compensation both directly at the site, and throughout the entire body. Normal form and function becomes impaired resulting in undue stress and demand.
Work and weight load is transferred to other parts of the body ill-equipped and not designed to do that job. Over time, this dysfunction leads to pre-mature wear and tear on the muscular and skeletal systems.
Thus the cycle of pain and limited mobility begins. When we hurt we move less or change how we move. The deep postural support muscles become latent and atrophy, and the muscles doing all the compensating get stronger and tighter (pulling us out of side-to-side and front-to-back balance). Now we have a dysfunctional muscular and skeletal system deprived of stimulus and motion. We hurt more so we do less. Pain sets in and the cycle continues.
What makes Posture Alignment Therapy different from other pain management techniques? This form of Posture Alignment Therapy does not treat symptoms or the site of pain itself. Instead we focus on identifying the underlying root cause of the symptoms and or pain. It is the difference between short term and symptom specific pain relief and long term restoration of the body to a fully functional and pain free status.
One major difference between Posture Alignment Therapy and other methods of healthcare (especially standard medical practice) is that your therapist looks at the entire body rather than just the area where the symptom is showing. By looking at the body as a whole, this often allows the therapist to identify the root cause of a problem.
What are the benefits of doing Posture Alignment Therapy? There are many benefits, some of which include:
restore physical function
restore neutral posture
restore optimal muscle balance, length and tension
restores the vertical load and 90 degree angles to the 8 major lead bearing joints
relieves tension and stress
activates lethargic/latent muscles
restores joint range of motion
increase mind-body awareness
increase and optimize athletic performance
increase energy levels
How long will it take me to see/feel results? Results will vary from client to client. Factors such as adherence to the menu of exercises and your emotional state while doing the exercises play a significant role in determining your success. You should experience a difference after your very first menu such as walking or standing taller, improved balance, even some pain relief. As you become more and more functional, these benefits will become long lasting and your pain will be eliminated permanently. However, most chronic pain and postural imbalances did not occur over night, so plan on giving your mind, body and spirit time to recover.
To be completely without symptoms depends on the severity of your problem and how long you have had the problem. It is important to remember that your problems may have developed over a very long period of time, and therefore it will take time and work to correct them. The variables are many.
Posture Alignment Therapy is not a quick fix! The longer a problem has been in the body, the longer it will take to get out. If a person has had a problem for 10 or more years, it will take much more time and effort than a person who has had a problem for 5 years or less. Similarly, it is much easier to clear out problems caused by an acute injury the instant it happens than a chronic problem that has been embedded in the body for years even if the level of pain felt by the acute injury is significantly higher. Think of the problems in the body like a bad habit. It is much harder to break a bad habit that existed for a long time than a bad habit that has just started.
The severity and duration of your pain problem is the greatest factor determining the amount of time it takes to resolve. Pain from a recent sprained ankle or slight bulging disc in the spine can be resolved much earlier than someone who has chronic pain from conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or degenerative disc disease.
Some problems have not been in the body for a very long time, however, they can be very challenging to overcome (think competitive athlete) when a person has built an incredible amount of strength on top of it. Adding strength on top of a postural dysfunction only magnifies the intensity of the pain. This issue tends to be more predominant in males, competitive, "Type-A" personalities, especially those who have done a lot of weight lifting and strength training. The problem of strength being built on top of a postural dysfunction occurs in both men and women however, and especially in those who have completed unproductive traditional physical therapy.
Other clients have not built an incredible amount of strength overtop of their problems, but they have further ingrained the postural deviations by continuously engaging in various other skilled physical activities and movements. When physical skills are developed with a problematic body, the body learns that the problematic issues are a part of “normal” function. This only solidifies the problem thus making it more difficult it is to remove.
Many people often engage in daily activities and routines that have caused or enhanced their problems. For example, it is extremely common to see neck pain in people whose jobs consist of sitting all day. The body was not designed to be hunched over for 8 - 10 hours a day. If a certain daily routine is the cause of the problem and a person is unable to change their situation, then it should be clear that it is going to take much longer to fix the problem since there is something that is consistently having a negative affect the body.
Do I have to do my menu of exercises every day? Yes it is highly encouraged. Your body has developed poor motor habits to compensate for your dysfunctions. Posture alignment work is not a quick fix. it is designed to re-educate and train your body back to it's blue-print design.
However, we understand that sometimes life gets busy and that you may miss a day or two. We recommend that you do no less than five days per week for the best results. It is also very important that you let us know how much time you are able to dedicate each day and we can design a program that meets those time constraints. Therefore, to see improvements and establish new muscle memory you must continue to stimulate your body on a daily basis.
Can I pick and choose my favorite exercises in my program without doing the rest? Even though certain exercises may make you feel considerably better than the rest, each exercise is selected based on your unique postural imbalances and deviations. There is a method to the sequencing of the movements. Each exercise is designed to stimulate function. So while one or two may be your favorites and feel better than other, follow the sequence given. They are all very important to the design of your program.
Should I be feeling pain while doing the exercises? No, however, keep in mind that people define pain differently. Some people may feel a very strong stretch and refer to that as pain, but that discomfort is not the same as being injured. If you are unsure whether a certain type of discomfort is normal, please make notes of the type, intensity, location, and duration and contact me. Remember, we are here to help you restore function. Our first and primary goal is to reduce your pain.
Why do I need to change my menu of exercises? Can’t I just keep doing my initial program? When it comes to realigning your body, it is not possible to address everything at once. There are certain issues that must be resolved before others. Such as pain. Without fixing those high priority issues first, working on anything else have little effect.
Second, as your body begins to change, your program should be updated to match those changes. Some parts of your body will change faster than others, so it is important to have a program is correct for you at that moment.
Lastly, postural deviations often have a way of "flushing" themselves (as I like to call it) down and out, or up and out. Many times, as certain problems begin to peel away, other problems are revealed. It is very common for the human body to hide its dysfunctions in order to perform the tasks it is called upon to do.
Do I need to purchase equipment? No. There is no requirement to purchase any equipment. You may already have items around your house that will work for you such as empty boxes, yoga blocks, yoga straps, pillows, chairs and ottomans. However, from my experience, investing in the equipment that promotes you to adhere to your menu is very worthwhile. Posture Alignment equipment is available for purchase at Therapy Zone.
Is Postural Alignment Therapy any different than taking a Pilates or yoga class? Yes, absolutely. Your Posture Alignment exercise menu is designed to address your specific dysfunctions and goals. It is like the base layer of functional movement upon which all other movements hinge upon. While you may see benefits of taking pilates and yoga classes, a body with pain and postural deviations will pull to the dysfunctional movement patterns in those classes, and even more so if taking classes without an instructor who is highly trained in injuries and special populations. Once you are fully functional in your blue-print design and completely pain free, the sky's the limit!
Can I still continue with my current activities? Yes. Our goal is to get you pain free and back into enjoying your activities of daily living as soon as possible. Physical exercise is good as long as you are bringing a functional and aligned body to the activity of choice Initially, you may be asked to avoid certain activities that re-enforce your dysfunctions. As you become more and more functional, you can re-introduce these and begin other activities.
Will I be sore after doing these exercises? As you begin to integrate new muscle action and neuromuscular integration you may experience brief periods of soreness known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It is not uncommon to initially feel sore after the first few days because you are re-training certain muscle groups that have not been working properly. In addition, your body is changing, so it may take a little while for your body to get accustomed to its new position. As your body adapts to the new stimulus the feeling of soreness will subside. If you are unsure if any type of discomfort is abnormal, please email or call.
What is your Cancellation Policy? To prevent being billed for missed appointments, 24-hours notice is required to either cancel or reschedule your session.
Will my insurance cover this form of therapy? No. Posture Alignment Therapy is a non-medical form of pain management. However, your health savings account may offer programs that can be used to cover your sessions.
Where are you located? The Posture Clinic is located at 489 22nd Place, Vero Beach, Florida. We are very close to the Miracle Mile business area, Indian River Boulevard, the Indian River and both Vero Beach bridges. Call us to set up a time to assess your posture and pain. 772-559-1532.