Global postural re-education or GPR is a chiropractic technique for chiropractic patients with chronic low back pain that seeks to correct the imbalance of muscular force between the spine and the vertebrae. This force is thought to contribute to the development of subluxations, which can cause pain and other symptoms. Patients with subluxations are often unable to achieve or maintain a level of pain relief, despite repeated chiropractic treatments. In addition, chiropractic spinal manipulation can cause damage to the nerves and muscles rather than simply correcting the misalignment. For these reasons, many chiropractic physicians and athletic trainers prefer to incorporate chiropractic adjustments into a postural re-education program.
Spinal manipulation, however, is not a substitute for a chiropractor’s postural re-education. Although chiropractors are trained in the technique and are quite capable of performing it safely, a chiropractor cannot replace the judgment and expertise of a physical therapist in correcting postural abnormalities. A physical therapist can determine the appropriate amount of traction pressure that is applied during a chiropractic treatment. Further, a physical therapist can determine the most effective range of motion, duration of the postural re-education exercise, and direction of the chiropractor’s arm movements during the procedure.
Although chiropractic may be able to help some neck pain and other postural issues, there is no better overall solution for reducing pain from musculoskeletal dysfunctions than chiropractic. In fact, the vast majority of people who suffer from chronic neck pain and other postural issues have perfectly good joints and muscles, which indicate no real problem. Postural compensations, if they do exist, are likely the result of muscles, joints, bones, and soft tissues that are stiff or fatigued. By contrast, a chiropractor has a much greater variety of different manipulative techniques that can help correct any number of musculoskeletal dysfunctions.