Many physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologist and other Allied Health Practitioners place a strong emphasis on strength and rehabilitation programs. They recognize that core stability and muscle retraining can be important, especially when the nature of your job or sport involves heavy or repetitive loading.One of the Frequently Asked Questions by patients who come to our clinic for the first time is “Why am I not better?? I have been taught a strength program or core stability program for my back by another health professional and my back is just the same or worse”There are 2 critical things that make all the difference with Rehabilitation Programs that are frequently not well done by many health professionals.
- The underlying joint problem (eg disc in the lower back, or labrum in the shoulder or hip) is not resolved first
- The exercises are not specific for your particular problem
With the McKenzie Method we first correct the underlying joint issue. This instantly improves muscle function even before strengthening takes place! Failure to correct the underlying joint issue does not allow normal functioning of the joint, causing pain inhibition and alters muscle function. Retraining the muscle in this instances leads to poor results and a failure to improve pain!With the underlying joint issue sorted out (within 2-3 sessions) the muscle function often rapidly and dramatically improves. The key then is ensuring exercises are performed in the direction your problem needs, which is central to the McKenzie exercises.eg. Doing crunches for the low back (with a reasonable view of strengthening the core) causes repeated flexion to occur, the most common direction that worsens disc problems in the low back!
Specific Rehabilitation Programs also need to befunctional, as research clearly shows that exercises need to be performed in positions that replicate your work or sporting environment for best results!
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