Teen's Poor Posture
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Teen's Poor Posture
Our 14 yo. teen son has developed what most consider poor posture-
slumped shoulders. While he's working on improving his self-esteem
(due to Aspergers) issues with a great therapist, I'm wondering
whether there is someone (craniosacral, acupuncturist?) or something
out there that can improve the way he carries himself.
We've been noticing our 12yo son having poor posture and figured out
that a little bit of physical therapy probably would be helpful. He's
athletic and hi energy. We're into all kinds of alternates yoga,
feldenkriast, etc but figured that it probably would just take
several sessions. He's on his third one now- PT Innovations in El
Cerrito. Has been taught a few exercises to help build his trunk
muscles- very simple. It's hard to get him to do it but everything
has been hard to get him to do the past 6 mths- adolescence. Our son
is less irritable when we remind about posture and is getting into
general exercise and strengthening. Xray shows mild scoliosis- MD who
made referral used back pain as diagnosis. Indeed, our son has been
having pain occasionally. We use single cues or visual cues at home to
remind about posture. Previous health practioner gave him idea to
select a color and when he sees this color in the world it will be a
reminder of being aware of his posture: BLUE. So, we can say blue,
too and he gets it. We'll see how his posture actually changes but in
the meantime it's very positive experience and empowering for him.
Also, he is more aware of others' posture. Showing him a picture of
himself before and after is helpful, too.
Craniosacral or other hands-on therapies might correct his poor
posture, if there are some structural issues (muscle tightnesses
and/or joint restrictions). Otherwise, strengthening exercises
would be great. Pilates would be my first choice since there's a
trainer right there making sure you'll be using the right muscles,
progressing to more independent work eg yoga class or gym. I highly
recommened Center Strength on Solano (the Pilates trainers there
will probably also tell you if they think he might need more hands-
on manipulation type work like craniosacral, good manual physical
therapy, etc). Besides that, what is very helpful is you gently
(not naggingly) and often reminding him ''honey, please bring those
shoulders back, it will put less tension on your muscles and nerves''
and complimenting him when you see him working at it.
From a Physical Therapist with thirty years experience
I highly recommend ''8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back'' by Esther Gokhale,
egwellness.com. It has helped me a lot with my back pain. Her
explanations are very clear and make sense. Since I've read her book
and taken the class, I'm much more aware of my own posture and
notice other people's good and bad posture.
We had a really good experience with a specialized kind of Physical
therapy, designed for scoliosis and kyphosis. (My daughter was having
pain and poor posture.) You can check them out at scoliosisrehab.com
We went to the clinic in Arizona for a week, since nothing is offered
locally - but is worth a try before confronting surgery. Short term
results are great, and we'll see how the PT works for her long term.
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