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Teen's Poor Posture

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14-year-old's slumped shoulders

June 2010

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. Mom


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. Monica
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 leia
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. cutis
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. Karen
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this page was last updated: Oct 28, 2010


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