Can kids benefit from posture alignment therapy?
Teaching your children the value of proper posture and applied biomechanics at a young age is one of the best investments you can make as a parent. Posture Alignment Therapy can absolutely make a significant difference in the health and futures of all children!
I like to consider posture alignment therapy as preventative health care and in the case of kids and young athletes - perhaps it's best described as Functional Healthcare!
Most parents are motivated to provide healthy food and activity options for our children. We sign them up for classes, activities and sports in attempt to teach them how to be active and learn skills. But how often do we really focus on their posture and biomechanics while in those activities?
Unfortunately in today's modern society - true unstructured play is becoming less and less of a right of childhood passage.
Young children should be able to freely go over, under and around a variety of challenging environments without limitation.
The seven primal movement patterns (squat, lunge, push, pull, bend, twist, and gait) are not given a full opportunity to be developed equally through natural opportunities of play.
All too often we parents place our kids into structured programs that instill sport specific movement patterns way before they have developed balance and accuracy in the primal movements historically achieved through creative play. Add on a technology driven culture, long bouts of sitting, and we have a generation of kids who will age far quicker than their parents and grand-parents, simply because of quality motion deprevation.
Here at Pain Free Posture MN we educate our all our clients about the importance of a balanced body. No matter what the age, your body functions at it's best when it's balanced (front to back, side to side and top to bottom) and aligned. Your muscles are designed to move in a specific way. The earlier you can train the body to adhere to good balance, the better it will perform and adapt to the stresses of everyday activities and athletic endeavours.
As my colleague Dustin Dillberg of Pain Free Kauai writes:
Many of the common ailments of childhood can be addressed through Egoscue, including injuries, headaches, digestive ailments and more. All of these conditions can respond very well to Egoscue and we are happy to discuss the option with parents Kids tend to like Egoscue because its pain free, drug free and a fun experience all around.
One important aspect to remember is that many problems that are seen in adults actually start from traumas that occurred as children. Even mild traumas can have a lasting effect. We have a saying in health care that“your body keeps score.” Small problems add up over the years, and it’s best to catch them early.
One of my favorite outcomes of working with adults who are currently parenting children is that they put their posture alignment corrective exercise menus into practice at home! Mom and Dads become the role model for their children. If you think your kids aren't paying attention, think again!
If they are very young, the kids often want to do the menu with mom and dad. They might now do it perfectly, and that's okay. Allow them to get into the habit so it becomes their normal routine.
When they are older, they most likely will say they're not interested, or perhaps tease and scoff at you, but don't be fooled. They might be sitting on the couch not be doing the work, but they ARE watching.
If a child or young athlete gets into a pain related problem at a young age, I guarantee you the child will ask you for help. Parents - please take the time to STOP and LISTEN to them. It's not always "growing pains".
Educated parents who practice posture alignment therapy know that - SOMETHING is WRONG. Children should not be experiencing muscle and joint pain or restricted mobility at a young age. These parents intervene early on and I speak here of my personal experience with my own kids, and from the experience of my clients.
When pain or performance problems arise, sure enough it is 9 times out of 10, the child asking for an appointment to come in and see me to generate a specific menu of corrective exercises to address their needs.
The best scenario is when the kids ask for an appointment with me! I LOVE it when clients of mine bring in their children for an evaluation.
Children of parents who practice posture alignment therapy have a good understanding of what corrective exercise is, why their parents do it, and because it's a normal thing to see mom and dad do their own menus, the kids are completely open to doing the exercises too.
Here at Pain Free Posture MN we work with the family to create an action plan to achieve success. In fact, we do our best to get the whole family involved! Take a look at this recent email I received:
"Thanks so much for seeing us on Friday! We are both excited to finally have exercises that we can do to help with our shoulder issues and I am very relieved that my son could get the guidance he needs now at an early age so we can re-train his muscles for proper alignment and years of pain free play and living.
In the meantime, we have our homework and menu and will be working on those diligently.
Thank you again very much!"
Corrective exercise programming can be a family focused and friendly plan. If you need help getting started, let us know and we'll help you come up with a plan that works!
Do you have a child or young athlete with movement related or pain problems? Remember, it's the body going into the activity and not the activity itself that is the problem. If you have questions, please reach out. Remember, we're in this together, and I am here to help!
If you enjoyed this article PLEASE comment and SHARE!
Stock Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Head Photo Credit: Ruby and Roxy Photography
Deb Preachuk is a Chronic Pain Pain Relief, Posture Restoration and Athletic Performance Enhancement pro specializing in corrective exercise, applied biomechanics, STOTT Pilates and functional movement patterns.
Founder of Pain Free Posture MN, Deb helps real people transform real-world chronic pain challenges into achievable results. Deb infuses her teaching with an honest, open and down-to-earth mix of chronic pain relief therapeutic modalities training techniques to make the concepts of pain relief and body/mind transformation accessible and achievable!