Global postural reeducation: what it is and what its principles are

Sometimes better known by its initials: RPG, global postural reeducation is a method within kinesiology and physiotherapy. It is a way to approach the pathologies of the neuro-musculoskeletal system to diagnose and treat the condition.

It was created dating back to the year 1980. In France, physiotherapist Philippe Souchard was the one who devised it and then spread it to the world. It had great global acceptance, so much so that associations of global postural reeducation have been formed in several regions and countries.

Unlike other forms of kinesiology and physiotherapy, the RPG looks for the origin of the pathology. It is not limited to being a palliative practice for the symptoms, but proposes to look for the causes.

One of its main advantages is the generation of changes and habits that can be prolonged in time to improve the quality of life of the patient. It is not a practice that is limited to a specific moment of pain.

Let's see, then, what are the operating principles of the neuro-musculoskeletal system on which the RPG is based. And let's also see what are the principles that theoretically support this practice.

Physiological principles of the neuro-musculoskeletal system

We call the neuro-musculoskeletal system that is formed by the union of joints, bones, muscles and innervations of the nervous system that direct movement and postures in the human body. Their illnesses are great causes of disability.

Previously it was known as locomotor system, but the new denomination is more accurate. The network that interacts to achieve movement is complex and involves different systems. Further, not only there is dynamic movement, but also static or postural.

The postural is considered primordial among the principles of global postural reeducation.

Global postural reeducation studies the neuro-musculoskeletal system and its possibility of causing disorders based on three principles:

  • Individuality: each body is different, even sharing similar structures. There is a body organization that is proper to every human being. For that reason, the disorders are also unique. Although pathologies are described in a general way, each body expresses it in its own way.
  • Globality: the systems of the organism are related to each other, that is, there are no isolated systems. To function properly, the interaction between tissues is fundamental. When there is a bone disorder, there may be muscle disorders as well. When there are disorders of the nervous system, possibly the rest of the locomotor system suffers, as in fibromyalgia.
  • Causality: the disorders of the organism have a cause. The treatments should point to the search for causes. When treatments are carried out only on symptoms and consequences, in the future they reappear.

To continue discovering: Research on fibromyalgia

Principles of global postural reeducation

Based on the principles of the physiology of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, global postural reeducation proposes three concepts on which he bases his theory and his practice.

These background concepts lay the groundwork for RPG treatments that call themselves progressive and individual. The objectives of the treatments are achieved tworking out the interrelation between static muscles and dynamic muscles.

These are the three principles of the RPG:

  • The muscles are organized in the form of chains.
  • There is compression of the joints by gravity and muscle action.
  • Breathing is related to the neuro-musculoskeletal system.

The muscles are organized in the form of chains

There are no muscles working isolated in the human body. However, there are muscular functional chains that are linked to achieve a posture or a movement.

Therefore, if a muscle fails in a functional chain, then the entire chain is affected, not just that muscle. The treatment, to be successful, should aim to correct the entire muscle chain.

Chains can be primarily dynamic or primarily static. Each of these functionalities is treated differently, since for some the problem is rigidity and for others the problem is the lack of tone.

There is compression of the joints by gravity and muscular action

The weight of the body generated by gravity impacts the joints. Also, muscles impact on them using them as a point of support. Either to move or to maintain posture, the joints are subject to stress.

Many pathologies are caused by joint overload. Often the alignment is lost or the joint spaces are compressed generating unnatural postures. In the long run, those postures are painful.

The global postural reeducation tries to decompress the joints and correct the general posture of the body.

Breathing is related to the neuro-musculoskeletal system

When there are neuro-musculoskeletal disorders, breathing is altered. The pain alters it, and also the bad postures that affect the rib cage. Myalgia stress states, for example, also change the respiratory rate.

For RPG it is important to act on respiratory dynamics. Treatments pay special attention to breathing and the muscular system of the thorax, which intervenes in inspiration and expiration.

Global postural reeducation considers the locomotor system as a whole.

To continue discovering: A simple breathing technique to relieve back pain

Who benefits from global postural reeducation?

There are many disorders that can be treated with RPG, and the age spectrum is broad, both children and adults can be beneficiaries. It is not a treatment with contraindications.

Postural alterations originating in the spine or limbs can be treated. In this line, the Genu Valgo and the Genu Varo. Herniated discs and scoliosis are also indicated.

Injuries in athletes are addressed with RPG. Joint disorders that are overused for certain sports can be addressed with global postural reeducation, such as golfer's elbow, tennis elbow or painful shoulders.

Finally, we can mention neurological pathologies with motor repercussions, such as Parkinson's disease, or cerebral palsy. In these cases, The goal is to improve the quality of life about a pathology that is treated from other disciplines.