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Physical Therapy for Posture – Information, Exercises, and More

Are you struggling with poor posture? Is the pain from poor posture distracting you from your work, hobbies, or daily activities?

If so, you are not alone.

Keep reading to discover:

  • What causes poor posture
  • Symptoms to look out for
  • How physical therapy for posture can help
  • And more




“In Motion O.C. was founded to solve some key gaps in the physical therapy industry that were observed by its founders, things such as drab medical facilities and poor customer service. However, the biggest hole observed in the medical system though was its treatment of the symptoms without paying attention to the cause. The founders of In Motion O.C. knew that any treatment that does not address the underlying musculoskeletal cause of the problem, can only bring temporary relief at best. And most often, the cause of pain and injury ultimately boils down to poor posture. In order to truly help people, it was imperative that poor posture be fixed. That does not happen by telling people to sit up straighter; no, you have to retrain the muscles of the body so that you automatically stand taller, without even thinking about it. Muscles dictate bone position and posture. Thus, full-body muscle retraining, especially to the hips and core, is the key to any good physical therapy treatment.” – Jeff Thomas, Managing Director Postural Therapist

What Is Poor Posture?

Poor posture, also known as postural dysfunction, is defined as the spine being positioned in unnatural positions that place stress on the vertebra, joints, and surrounding muscles.

Poor posture can result in: 

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Changes in breathing
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor balance
  • Lack of endurance
  • Poor athletic performance
  • And more


What Causes Poor Posture?

Poor posture is often caused by work environments and lifestyle choices that involve:

  • Sitting for long periods at a time
  • Standing for long periods at a time
  • Driving for long periods at a time
  • Starting at computer screens for long periods at a time
  • And more

Poor posture can also happen due to uncontrollable situations, like injuries or genetic disorders.

Built-up muscle tension and spasms can lead to atrophied muscles, which can cause poor posture.

Poor Posture Symptoms

If you have poor posture, you may experience symptoms like:

  • Back pain
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Migraines
  • Gait issues
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Potbelly
  • And more

If you suspect that you have poor posture and are experiencing symptoms, it is important to see your Doctor as soon as possible to rule out any other ailments that could be the underlying cause of your poor posture.

Types of Poor Posture

There are four different types of poor posture:

  1. Forward head posture
  2. Kyphosis
  3. Swayback
  4. Flatback

Forward Head Posture

Forward head posture, also commonly referred to as “tech-neck” due to its prevalence in people who sit at work desks for long periods of time, occurs when your head is positioned with your ears in front of the vertical midline of your body.

Forward head posture can also happen from:

  • Hunching over a phone while texting
  • Driving for long periods at a time;
  • And losing muscle tone as you age


Kyphosis is an exaggerated curvature of the upper back, commonly referred to as hunchback.

This can happen due to:

  • The weakening of spinal bones caused by osteoporosis
  • Degeneration of the spinal discs
  • Polio
  • Scheuermann’s disease
  • Chemotherapy
  • And more


Swayback is also commonly referred to as lordosis or hyperlordosis. This happens when your lower back has an exaggerated inward curve.

Swayback can develop from:

  • Prolonged periods of sitting
  • Obesity
  • Injury
  • Neuromuscular conditions
  • And more


Flatback occurs when the normal curve of your spine loses its curvature. This causes your back to look unnaturally straight and causes pain during prolonged periods of standing.

Flatback can be the result of:

Poor Posture Treatment

Treatment for poor posture can be dependent on the type of poor posture that you have. Some mild forms of poor posture can be treated with light stretching and physical therapy exercises. Poor posture can even be reversed and prevented with lifestyle changes like using office ergonomics.

However, some extreme cases of posture may need more invasive interventions, such as surgery. 

It is extremely important to have your posture assessed by a medical professional and discuss treatment options for your specific needs.

Can Physical Therapy Help With Posture?

Absolutely, poor posture can be improved and corrected through physical therapy.

Physical therapy can help correct posture by focusing on strengthening atrophied muscles that contribute to slouching and misalignment and improving flexibility to reduce the strain on your spine.

A physical therapist will assess your specific posture issues and create a customized treatment plan to address your personal posture issues.

If you’re looking for physical therapy for posture correction, contact In Motion O.C. today to schedule an appointment.


Physical Therapy to Improve Posture: Best Posture Exercises

Here are some of the types of physical therapy exercises for posture that you may come across in your physical therapy treatment.

Stretching Exercises

Based on a physical assessment by your physical therapist, stretching exercises can be used to increase your flexibility and reduce potential strains to your spine, joints, and surrounding muscles.

Strengthening Exercises

Based on a physical assessment by your physical therapist, strengthening exercises can be used to strengthen atrophied muscles that are contributing to your poor posture.


How In Motion O.C. Can Help With Posture Correction Physical Therapy

At In Motion O.C., we have treated hundreds of patients dealing with poor posture. As the #1 rated physical therapy clinic on Yelp! And Google, we help patients improve their posture and quality of life. 

If you are ready to say goodbye to your poor posture, contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics located in:

  • Irvine
  • Huntington Beach; or 
  • Fountain Valley
In Motion O.C.