Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Learn to Move Again With Physical Therapy

I have been a sports and musculoskeletal therapist for over 15 years working with professional tennis and soccer players, marathoners, triathletes etc. But since the birth of my first child last year, I have a renewed interest in motion analysis and rethinking the way in which we adults move.
Babies develop motor patterns and discover how to get around by learning to balance and control the force of gravity. They start with head control, then rolling and gradually progress to walking. Fast forward into adult life and we let gravity control us --- yes as babies we learn to control gravity and therefore move but as adults we let gravity take control --- and when we do we increase our risk for musculoskeletal breakdown.
Musculoskeletal conditions are the number one contributors of health care costs in the USA. It comes at no surprise that low back pain tops the list. We spend hours at our computer desk and we let the computer screen and office set up decide our neck and spine posture --- the result.... chronic neck pain, low back stiffness and postural headaches. We have gotten very good at compensating; walking with our necks, climbing subway stairs with our backs, we can't even roll in bed without crying "ooh aah ouch". All of this is because we aren't aware of how we move. As babies we move with a purpose to learn to use our bodies efficiently. As adults we move to take care of stuff. And this stuff has caused us to tune out.
ALAS! It's not too late to relearn what you have forgotten. You can RE-MEMBER your body again! Your hips and ankles can work in synergy the same way your shoulder girdle can work with your pelvis. Most overuse injuries can be prevented; most strains can be avoided if we can get balance again.
All of the above is preventable - a concept we must embrace - PREVENTION!
Step 1: know there is help and it is affordable without MRI's.
Step 2: get help --- do a Functional Movement Screen to identify the compensation.
Step 3: relearn what is already part of your own developmental muscle memory i.e. learn to control gravity again.
Then hit DELETE to all faulty movement patterns!
Here at Duffy & Bracken Physical Therapy we teach you to move again. We offer Functional Movement Screens daily to identify the areas where you most likely will break down. Plus, we have a studio that offers Gravity Training classes to work on your strength and movement efficiency. Visit our website to learn more about our wellness programswww.duffyandbracken.com.
Renuka Pinto, MPT, PGDR, CSCS, CES

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