I am a big fan of establishing mobility first and I frequently talk to patients about the importance of re-establishing motion through the use of adjustments and manipulation of joints and soft tissues. After furthering my training, and after much research, my understanding is much clearer concerning movement patterns related to mobility. Specifically, we need to be able to perform some basic motor patterns or activities in daily life. Once we re-establish how to do an activity properly, we can work on strengthening, stabilization and exercising different body parts to help us avoid future injury.
Following the Right Steps to Recovery
Many times people go to the gym to work muscle; however, it is better to train the motion first and then rehab the muscle or soft tissue. The first step should be assessment; this can be with a chiropractor, a physical therapist, orthopedist or your family physician. Learn what your limitations are before proceeding to the next step. For example, if I were to ask a patient to put their feet together, bend down and touch their toes, the majority of people cannot perform this exercise. The automatic assumption would be that they have tight hamstrings. However, it may be deeper than that and sometimes the brain can simply forget how to bend properly.
Tulsa Spine & Rehab starts the assessment on the ground then transition a patient to different positions involving vectors or patterns. From there we make a determination of whether it is really a mobility issue, a motor learning issue or a movement pattern issue. This assessments helps formulate a plan for what a patient can do on their own and what they need assistance with.
Here in the clinic we see a lot of athletes and active people with trauma to muscles and soft tissues. They have had adhesions or scar tissue caused by postural stress over an extended period of time. The day to day repetitions are contributing factors to many injuries and it’s important to note that once we’ve reset some things and determined what the problem really is, that motion should be increased, then the back end should also be stabilized and rehabbed to aid in strengthening tissues in that region in order to avoid future problems.