Table of contents:
Global postural reeducation (RPG) is one of the physiotherapy methods that aims to prevent and combat spinal alterations, such as scoliosis, hunchback and hyperlordosis, helping to improve posture, for example, being also useful to improve breathing, correct the positioning of the knee, hip and head.
In this type of treatment, the physical therapist analyzes the person's entire posture and indicates the exercises that the person needs to perform to strengthen the weakest muscles and stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments necessary to realign the entire body.
The RPG sessions are individualized, because each person has a different body constitution and needs, however, in general, the sessions last around 1 hour and at least 3 sessions are required.
Key benefits of RPG
The benefits of global postural reeducation can be perceived from the first sessions, where the person becomes more aware of their body posture, which is already a stimulus for them to strive to maintain good posture throughout their day -to-day. Other benefits are:
- Fighting back pain and realigning the spine;
- Eliminate sciatica;
- Cure the stiff neck;
- Correct knee positioning;
- Improve breathing and trunk movement in people with ankylosing spondylitis;
- Troubleshooting spinal problems such as herniated disc;
- Contribute to the treatment of joint changes such as chronic hip pain;
- Eliminate headache caused by excess tension in the back and neck muscles;
- Eliminate headache and jaw pain caused by temporomandibular joint changes;
- Correct the flat foot, by allowing a better realignment of the forces of gravity;
- Improve breathing by allowing greater range of respiratory muscles;
- Improve the head position, which in many cases is more forward than ideal;
- Improve the positioning of the shoulders, which in many cases are more forward facing.
In RPG, the exercises are indicated taking into account the needs of each person and therefore the prescription is individual, with no generalized recommendation, since each person has unique characteristics that must be taken into account. In general, each RPG session lasts approximately 1 hour and the number of sessions may vary according to the treatment objective and the person's posture.
How is the treatment with RPG
In a RPG session, the physical therapist will indicate which position the person should stay still for at least 3 minutes. In this posture, it may be necessary to make small adjustments such as adjusting the breathing and the person has to make an effort to keep the muscles still in the indicated position.
As a form of progression, the physical therapist may encourage the person to do it against their hand, to make it difficult to maintain the posture, which makes correct positioning even more challenging.
Sometimes, during a RPG session, other exercises are performed that are indicated for the treatment of pain or injuries that the person presents, in addition to manipulations and myofascial therapy, which is why this is a technique that can only be performed by physical therapists.
There are 8 global postural reeducation exercises, which are actually postures in which the person needs to stay still for a few minutes, and it is important that they are performed with the guidance and help of the physical therapist. The main RPG exercises are:
- Frog on the ground with open arms
- Frog on the ground with closed arms
- Frog in the air with open arms
- Frog in the air with closed arms,
- Standing against the wall,
- Standing in the center,
- Sitting forward lean
- Standing with anterior tilt
During these exercises, the physical therapist usually asks the person to contract the abdominal and keep the back glued to the stretcher, but without raising the ribs. In addition, stimuli are provided that lead the person to have to maintain the RPG posture for some 4 to 7 minutes, without losing strength in keeping the shoulders supported on the stretcher and the feet well together, for example.
The treatment time varies from one person to another, but after 3 or 4 sessions it is possible to see if the treatment is being beneficial or not. Scoliosis and hyperkyphosis can be corrected, with approximately 8 RPG sessions, but when the spine is very 'crooked', more sessions may be needed.