One would think all exercise would be therapeutic but this is far from the truth. An exercise becomes progressively more therapeutic when it is specifically designed to address a person’s unique deficit.
Just going into the gym and running through the machines is exercise but how therapeutic it is would depend on your pain, problem, and underlying muscle imbalances. It is not uncommon for someone to make themselves worse as a result of doing exercises which are actually enhancing the weak and tight muscle patterns in the body. The younger we are the more we can get away with this, the older we get the more exercise should target specific deficits to correct the imbalances that develop as we get older.
To ultimately have a program customized to help you overcome your unique imbalances and deficits, the more you will achieve your goals and will achieve them in a shorter amount of time. Much would depend on an evaluation to know what your unique needs are and not advising by just making assumptions.
Therapeutic exercise falls into some basic categories.
This is the process of lengthening muscle and its related tissues to obtain better motion, mechanical efficiency, muscle flexibility, muscle recovery, and better circulation. It is a mainstay in the rehabilitation process, in sports, or in industrial prevention programs. It is everywhere people want to keep moving.
At times we forget muscle creates motion by shortening and so over time we tend, as human bodies, to develop progressively shortened muscle tissues and a loss of motion. Under these conditions, joint stress will increase as pressure develops prematurely causing friction and eventual cartilage breakdown. Stretching is key in sustaining joint health and there is a science behind doing it properly. Learning how to do it correctly and what to focus upon is highly dependent on knowing your deficits and goals.
Life is lived through overcoming gravity as we move from point A to B. Strength is our ability to handle gravity easily. Surprisingly, as we go through time, some of our muscles are being heavily challenged by gravity and our lifestyle and so build more strength, and other muscles are being neglected. Some sports have this effect on our muscle system too. As a result, these imbalances can have negative effects on not only our joints but eventually cause pain and frustration.
Strength deficits often lead to chronically tight muscle groups as they compensate for weakness, adding more stress to joints and related tissues. Arthritis is partially the product of poor joint protection over time and poor protection relates to muscle weakness and tightness combinations that put more friction on the joint’s cartilage.
A strengthening program designed for your deficits and your goals is key to a future where you can have more control over the quality of your life. In total, one needs a strategy to remain efficient as the decades add up which would incorporate.
Neuromotor Re-education (NMR)
NMR is a mouth full to digest as a PT treatment concept. It consists of exercises which help the patient to progress from simple movements to ones that progressively require more control and stability. Through this process, the nervous system’s ability to communicate to muscle progressively improves to affect stability, balance, coordination and ultimately function. The re-education process helps a patient develop more efficiency in their movements so as to reduce stress to painful joints and tissues. This can dramatically improve someone’s quality of life as chronic joint stress is redistributed to provide pain relief that is real and not related to the camouflaging effects of medication.
The name of the game in rehab is communication and all roads lead eventually to improving the body’s ability to respond to the demands of the moment. With a good NMR program, one is more confident and ready to meet life’s unexpected challenges as well as participate more fully in the joys physical activity can offer.
Therapeutic exercise, manual therapy , NMR and functional training form the four core treatment interventions in a patient’s rehab. As one ages, it becomes more clear a person needs a strategy for sustaining the body’s ability to perform. Performance or functional activity is heavily dependent on muscle doing its job well and the core four play a big part in keeping the musculoskeletal system working as a coordinated team. Tight/weak patterns in the body which form neuromotor and joint imbalances cause a reduction in performance. One may attribute this to age but an equally important reason is muscle imbalances which are correctable if you are motivated to work at correcting them.
The great thing about muscle and our nervous system is it is changeable. Muscles can lengthen, they can strengthen and coordination between muscles and joints can be improved, there is notable potential no matter the age. Ultimately, as one goes through the rehab process, the program is guided toward functional activities and what the patient wants to be able to return to doing. Full Potential therapists have proven strategies to put you back in charge of your body and your life.
For more information, contact us at Holland, MI center.