A corrective exercise is pretty much “any” exercise that neutralizes the pelvis and brings the load bearing joints back to their optimal alignment; Therefore, correctives should differ for each individual depending on their unique alignment. Okay, so I know some of you are saying, well what does “that” mean? Let me explain:
The human body has four load bearing joints: The ankles, knees, hips and shoulders. These joints should line up both horizontally and vertically in order to create optimal stability throughout the body and have the ideal length/tension relationships between the muscles surrounding a joint.
So if you were to build a building, for it to be stable you would want the bricks in line both horizontally and vertically right? The same goes for the human body.
A great experiment is to face a mirror. March in place with your eyes closed and let your body fall still naturally. Now look in the mirror. Are your feet pointed straight ahead? Are your knees facing straight? Are your hips and shoulders level? Now face the side. Is your body vertically aligned or are your hips forward of your ankles? Are your hips relatively level or are they tilted up (posterior) or down (anterior)? Is your upper back rounded? Are your shoulders protracted? Is your head forward?
If you found any deviations, then chances are, you could benefit from corrective based exercises that restore alignment so your body can function at its optimal level. Corrective exercise is not just about resolving pain symptoms, although that is an added benefit; it’s about restoring function. Pain is just an indicator that dysfunction is present.
When a joint isn’t working as it’s designed, musculoskelatal compensations occur to achieve the desired task. This creates altered length tension releationships between the muscles surrounding a joint. Consequently imbalances occur. The body is smart! It will find the easiest way to accomplish a movement when dysfunction is present. It’s our job to find corrective exercises to influence the muscular system in order to get the joints realigned and enable the muscular system to function correctly again. The byproduct to restoring function is a reduction in pain. Many people continue to treat symptoms with cortisone injections, pain meds and surgery; however, until you address the underlying issues that are “causing” the pain, dysfunciton remains and pain is likely to reoccur.
If you suffer from any of the following, postural alignment therapy can benefit you:
Bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, heel spurs
Calf strains, shin splints
Knee pain, Hip pain, Lower back pain
Spondylolysthesis, stenosis, sciatica, buldging discs, disc herniation
Thoracic back symptoms
Shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, thoracic outlet syndrome
Cervical impingement, Neck and upper trap pain
Getting a set of customoized exercises that are customized to address “your” current state of alignment will take out the guess work in your training program design. Having a picture taken to see which load bearing joints are out of alignment as well as which muscles need to be stretched and which need to be strengthened allows us to customize your program. Holding planks, side planks and doing squats and lunges are all good and fine, but unless the body is aligned, you could be “strengthening” dysfunction. Don’t forget an exercise is ony as good as the body you bring to it.
Feel free to check out my website at www.alignedfit.com for more information about postural therapy or pick up the book “Pain Free” by Pete Egoscue.
Lisa Decker M.S.
CPT, CES, PES, PAS
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