All of us here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne love to get our guests being and feeling at their optimal best. I take pride and pleasure in having guests leave the clinic feeling better than when they walked. Whether that’s feeling relaxed from extra stress and tension or loosened off after feeling stiff and overworked or pain free after suffering an injury. We do as much as we can in our appointments to benefit you. However, as good as we may be at making you feel like that when you leave it is down to you to cement in our good work! So, I am going to explain the importance of doing the exercise “homework” rehab exercises and stretches that we prescribe to you.
Breaking the habit
Many of the cases that I deal with on a daily basis here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne involve injury or dysfunctions that have been created by bad lifestyle habits. These habits are often formed over YEARS and they are ingrained into your brain and nervous system. The longer the habit has been around the longer it may take to change. The body is very efficient, it has to be to survive so it constantly looks for the path of least resistance when performing tasks and I’m sure everyone has heard of the term “use it or you’ll lose it”?! Well that term doesn’t just refer to fitness or muscle mass it also refers to flexibility and mobility too. If you don’t move often enough or well enough the body starts to shut down the movements that you no longer perform or require.
A question for the readers that have shoulder pain: when did you last lift your hands up above your head when you were NOT performing a daily task? Those that can’t remember, how easily can you lift your hands above your head without pain or restriction?
The body limits the movements we do not do enough, often it can be through physical restriction whereby scar tissue has formed (hardware) or it can be through a neural restriction (software) where the brain in a sense does not trust the body’s ability to control the limb/joint in that position without risk of injury, so it either creates pain to stop you doing it or it weakens the muscle so that you cannot perform the movement. The brain is very clever!
Techniques and Tricks
As sports massage therapists and chiropractors, we have techniques and tricks that can treat and bypass both physical and neural restrictions allowing you to restore range of motion and relieve pain. Unfortunately, these results won’t last forever especially if you return to the daily habits that created the problem in the first place! We get a care plan in place so that we can overcome the majority of the issue and make forward progress but that will often go to waste if the rehab isn’t continued after treatment.
This is where your exercise and rehab comes into play.
As I mentioned hardware and software before I often use a very basic analogy of a computer to my guests. Essentially your computer has caught a virus (injury/pain/restriction) with the treatment we wipe the computer clean by treating the necessary areas whether that’s inhibited, tight and or weak muscles it is then down to the guest to reboot the computer with new and better programs (better movement mechanics, rehab exercises and stretches) so that it is functioning properly.
The super important part that the majority of people miss out on is when they are pain free and moving well they stop doing the exercises and stretches that have helped, this is a huuuuuuuge mistake! These exercises are off-setting the bad habits we have during everyday life that got you into a mess in the first place, these should become your new daily habits that will keep you from needing to come in and see us so often.
Now here is where I sound like the demon headmaster… “have you managed to do your rehab this week?” “no sorry I didn’t have the time…” that’s ok, fair enough but you won’t be making any progress with your injury/pain, if you really want to fix yourself there are NO excuses! Make time and PRIORITISE your health and well being. I often only prescribe 2-3 exercises and stretches max to each guest mainly for simplicity. This makes sure they are performed well and secondly, less excuse of not doing them! 10 minutes of your day focusing on your rehab will make the world of difference and accelerate your progress leaps and bounds.
Find strategies that allow you to do bits here and there during your day like having a TheraBand in your work desk drawer have a minute break every hour and do 20 reps of your rehab exercise and with 7-8 hours in a working day that’s 160 reps!
I hope you found this a good read and make sure you do your rehab!
Massage Therapist and PT – Eastbourne
By oliver ody
Call now 01323 722499