Global Postural Re-education: a literature review

Rev Bras Fisioter. 2011 May-Jun;15(3):185-9.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Background: The Global Postural Re-education (GPR) method has been widely used in clinical practice, with reported benefits for prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions. In parallel with almost two decades of clinical implementation, research studies have tested and verified the effectiveness of GPR in treating different clinical conditions and have also compared this method with other physical therapy resources. However, few studies focused on the verification of the principles of mechanisms of action defended by the author of the method making the arguments in favor of the method weak.

Objective: To perform a critical systematic review of the effects of physical therapy intervention that use the GPR method.

Methods: We searched Medline, SciELO, LILACS and PeDRO, from 2000 to 2010, considering the key words: Global Postural Re-education, global and active stretching.

Results: We found 25 studies, 13 about GPR and 8 about global and active stretching in addition to three books and a thesis. After analysis, 20 references were included.

Conclusions: Some of the studies indicated that the GPR method was more effective than other physical therapy interventions, while others demonstrated similar results of GPR when compared to other physical therapy interventions. Studies showed benefits of the GPR in improving the respiratory muscle strength, chest expansion, maximal respiratory pressure and in reducing pain, loss of urine in incontinent women, increasing flexibility, the electromyographic activity in temporomandibular disorders and postural stability in lower limb orthopedic alterations. Methodological limitations observed suggest the need for greater rigor in future research.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Posture*