So, you have finished your rehab with your physical therapists and they have recommended that you begin a workout program so you can continue rehabilitating your injury and begin strengthening other areas of the body that you have been neglecting for years. Chances are it was your de-conditioned and neglected body that helped position you for the injury that sent you to physical therapy in the first place.
Now is a great time to begin a new fitness conditioning program, seeing as how it is the first of the year and you have made it an unkept resolution for the past twenty or thirty years! This time it needs to happen. Your body is telling you it needs fitness or it will continue to bug you with little nagging injuries until finally you will be in the doctor’s office more than you will be out to dinner. You may have already begun hearing talk of dire ailments that may lurk in your future. Have you noticed each time you and your friends get together the conversation always turns to an illness or injury that someone has experienced lately? Your medicine cabinet is starting to fill up with of all things, medicine? Medicine for all the muscular aches and pains you have been experiencing.
A little understanding about this body you live in is what you need. The human body is made for movement, although we do move, we do not move enough and we move in faulty movement patterns. It is these faulty movement patterns that begin our demise. As Shirley Sahrmann, PT says, “our body follows the laws of physics in that it takes the path of less resistance in movement.” Just simple activities of daily living, like sitting, standing, walking can contribute to our aches and pains, but it is the path of less resistance that gives us a problem. When sitting we slouch, when standing we fidget from side to side, and when we walk, well, everything hurts so we change our walking gait so much it develops other pain syndromes.
It is the poor movement patterns and lack of conditioning that contribute to America’s health care crisis, but that is a story for another day. Today we talking about your resolve to get fit and how not to get injured.
“Repetitive Strain” – you have heard this phrase used with respect to every facet of our lives, from the news, the office, infomercials, late night TV shows. What is it? It is also called “Cumulative Trauma Disorder” (CTD), a major problem in the workforce and in everyday life. CTD refers to injuries to muscles, tendons, bones, blood, vessels, and/or nerves. Your low back did not just get injured spontaneously or your rotator cuff suddenly become painful when raising your arm; odds are it all began years ago with poor posture and faulty movement patterns. With each day bringing new aches and pains, where will you be next year at this time?
Fitness training can provide an answer to that question! Why fitness training? Because training new movement patterns will induce the appropriate muscular and biomechanical adaptations that will reinforce the development of optimal neuromuscular action. However, not just any movement pattern training will do this. The training should be done under professional supervision, using principles that are biomechanically and functionally sound. Just going through the motions by yourself in the gym may not be your best solution. Many a poor movement pattern is created or reinforced in the gym and at this late stage of the game you cannot afford to make any mistakes!
What you may need is a Medical Exercise Specialist (MES) or Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) who will instruct you in the more biomechanically and functionally correct movement patterns that will not only remove the pain and stiffness you are experiencing every day but also improve your strength, mental clarity, and your total well being. These results are all possible with exercise, but not just any exercise. Functionally correct exercise! So, go ahead and make that New Year’s Resolution and find the Personal Trainer with certifications as a MES or CES who will enable you to get your life back. What can it hurt? You may actually enjoy keeping this resolution!