The Integral Piece That’s Missing From Your
Rehab and Wellness Program…
You may be missing a key ingredient in the recipe for feeling your best.
An integral part of your treatment plan, that even with the encouragement of your practitioner you may be pushing to the side - therapeutic movement.
That’s right - the active part of treatment, where you have to do some work outside of the treatment room is super important.
While passive treatments are where many people start (and where unfortunately many people stop) it's only part of the story.
There is magic in passive treatments! These are treatments such as manual therapy, ultrasound, laser, and acupuncture, where the client is a passive recipient. These treatments help people immensely but in most cases shouldn't be the only approach to getting better.
The other integral part of the story that many pass over, is the movement - the active treatment. And not just any movement, but movement that is specific to the individual, their needs and their goals. Therapeutic movement is more than just general stretching or strengthening, it’s a targeted program to set you up for success in all that you do.
Therapeutic movement and passive modalities go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re a match made in heaven!
Here’s why therapeutic movement is so integral: passive modalities make a change in your system which helps you feel better. You leave treatment and go back to your day to day, enjoying this new feeling, and then in a matter of time you find yourself back to feeling some degree of yuck, and needing more treatment.
What’s bringing you back down to that yuck feeling are your day to day patterns and habits that passive treatments can’t address long term.
For example you go in for a massage to help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders, you feel wonderful after and then proceed to sit at a desk with your head forward squinting at your screen for 8 hrs a day. Those hours of forward head posture and squinting probably aren’t doing your neck pain any favours, and so no matter how effective the massage, the day to day will override it.
It’s easy to discount the impact that your day to day has on how you’re feeling, because we can’t always directly connect the dots between an action and a symptom.
Many people DO notice the impact of their day to day when they get out of routine, or when there’s a change - vacation, pandemics, parental leave, or going from an active job to one that requires more sitting or vice versa. When we’re brought out of our normal, we can see how our usual makes us feel - for better or for worse.
So what is one to do?
In the example above about neck pain and sitting at a computer, it’s likely not an option for that person to quit their job and say bye bye to computer work! There may be some changes we can make to desk setup, and there are also changes we can make to your internal set up.
ENTER THERAPEUTIC MOVEMENT!
Therapeutic movement helps to create an inner scaffolding that supports you through your daily activities. It helps your body establish patterns that support what you need to do in the day to day.
If we go back to the example above, therapeutic movement would address the compensation patterns and imbalances contributing to the neck pain and then build stamina around new patterns that allow the person to do their work with less (or no!) neck pain. Additionally, this process helps the client dvelop strategies so they know how they can support themselves if/when they do start to feel the pain come on.
We start to build a connected and cohesive system that acts as a strong and solid foundation, instead of a house of cards.
Therapeutic movement works in a few ways:
- Helps alleviate pain
- Addresses the compensations & movement patterns that are contributing to your pain
- Develops new movement patterns, and stamina around those new
patterns so you can stay feeling better for longer and longer…
The reason that therapeutic movement and manual therapy (or other passive treatments) work so well in conjuction with one another, is that the passive work creates a change that can allow for new possibility in movement. For example, manual work on the upper back that helps someone twist more easily. And it's when we practice this movement, after the passive treatment has created an 'opening' that we can integrate and build stamina around that change. When we focus exclusively on the passive part we're missing out on half the magic!
Therapeutic movement can also act as a stand alone treatment depending on where a client is at and what their goals are. Our team is here to help guide you on what combination, or solo treatments and modalities will be best for your unique needs.
Don't think for a minute that active treatments are just for athletes. We all make our way through the world using movement, so we need active solutions to help us feel our best!
At Fit for Life Physiotherapy, our Physiotherapists and Kinesiologist work together to create a therapeutic movement program just for you, that will help you in feeling your best!
So if you haven’t already booked your appointment, what are you waiting for?