Physical Rehabilitative Exercise Therapy
Our physical rehabilitation and exercise department is at the core of most treatment plans. With over 2,000 square feet of space dedicated to exercise and rehabilitation, our Exercise Physiologists educate, monitor and assist you through progressive phases of care. We begin therapy programs with stretching, postural movements, and functional movements. In the beginning, we limit strengthening activities that are more likely to aggravate an acute condition, or which could reinforce improper habits. After we correct your body mechanics and posture, we increase strengthening activities to your tolerance. As you progress under our care, we teach you how to better self-manage your active lifestyle.
We progress patients from safe isometrics (resistance exercise without movement), to light cable or band exercise, and finally free weight exercise and Med-X exercise equipment. Med-X, in our opinion, is the best rehab-based exercise equipment available today. For those patients who are already performing strengthening routines, we review your program and make sure you have a safe transition back into the gym. It is important to build a foundation of strength around a healing condition. Keeping in mind that it takes 7 months to fully heal a strained muscle, 12 months to heal a sprained ligament or joint tissue 90%, and 6-12 months or longer to partially heal a disc; we want you to have extra strength to compensate for the damaged tissue. This will minimize the chance of re-injury and maximize the likelihood that you will fully heal. We ask our patients to continue with basic strengthening at least 2 times a week after discharge.
Core exercise is specific to the muscles that support your posture. Most of your core muscles are located along your spinal column. In your upper body, it’s your shoulder blades at the core of your posture. If your shoulder blades rest “back and down,” you are more likely to have an erect posture, minimizing stress on your spinal joints. We target between your shoulder blades so the muscles can support your shoulder blades in their proper resting position. In your lower body, your pelvis is the core of your posture. One of the reasons pregnancy triggers lower back pain is because of forward tilting pelvic bones as the belly enlarges. To best support your pelvis, we want to properly build strength in abdominal muscles, hamstrings (back of the thigh) and buttock muscles. We promise to make training your core muscles for strength a fun experience. We have many variations of exercises to keep you motivated.
Neuromuscular re-education is a fancy term related to muscle coordination. Muscles fire in specific sequences in order to properly protect your joints and allow for normal, fluid movement. Professional athletes are gifted with exceptional neuromuscular control. Think of it this way: If you are walking along and “turn” your ankle, do you injure your ankle or do you “catch” yourself just before you get hurt? This depends on your neuromuscular control. As your ankle turns, tiny receptors in the joint sense that the joint is about to be injured by the rapid overstretching. This triggers a complex series of reflexive (not under your control, and stimulated by your nervous system) movements to remove pressure off your ankle and trigger muscles to contract in a specific series. This prevents you from falling and transfers force onto your other foot. Fascinating, right? We help you develop these systems so your body naturally fends off injury and wear and tear by proper muscle coordination.
It is very important to build flexibility in tight, restricted areas of your muscles, spine and joints. Building flexibility is one of our initial goals, as we stimulate your body to heal. Typically, when you have pain and injured or stressed muscles and joints, your body triggers tightness in order to inhibit movement and essentially protect the area from further stress and damage. The problem with this is that the tightness creates a cascading effect of pressure on the sensitive area, thus triggering additional tightness. Additionally, if the tightness is not addressed, you may not heal properly or end up with other imbalances in your skeletal system, potentially leading to more problems later in life. We show you how to safely attain more flexibility. Having joint manipulation from one of our chiropractors greatly enhances flexibility along with a stretching routine.
We firmly believe that your posture, both static (sitting, standing, lying down) and kinetic (walking, reaching, sports, movements in general) plays an integral role with every musculoskeletal condition. Try slouching excessively from the position you are in right now. Now imagine staying like this all day, during static and kinetic activities. You would be greatly fatigued and subject yourself to higher risk of injury, not to mention your performance of activities would be hindered. Have you seen how professional runners and track athletes carry themselves? Proper posture enables your musculoskeletal system to function optimally, efficiently and with the lowest level of risk for injury. Any degree of postural weakness will add to wear and tear on your body over time. We focus heavily on proper posture in the beginning of your care with hopes that when you leave us, you will have built healthy, lifetime habits.
Speed and Agility
For athletic patients, whether you are a casual golfer, school-aged team sports participant, weekend warrior or professional athlete, we have custom, therapeutic programs to improve your speed and agility and enhance your performance. We focus on posture, neuromuscular re-education and how your muscle groups work together with synergy. Professional golfers, professional runners and cyclists, semi-pro rugby players and numerous local high school and college athletes have improved their games in our office. Stop in for a consultation so we can customize a program for you.