Specific Activity is Key to Recovery

Anyone who has ever been injured or has had difficulty with returning to a particular sport or activity knows that the transition from where you are to where you need to be to do what you love to do is often the hardest part. There are a lot of great exercises and activities out there for common problems that people have, but what most of them lack is the ability to customize to what you really need to recover. Sure, you can try exercises on YouTube or something you saw once on a Facebook post, but that doesn't mean it is going to fix your problem. At best, many of these only provide temporary relief for a problem which returns.

The main reason these generic exercises fall short is that there is no assessment of the problem. Without a detailed assessment, you could be playing Russian roulette with your choice of exercises. I'll give you something I've seen on Facebook as an example. "6 of the Best Exercises for Sciatica." Here are the exercises suggested by this article

1) Hamstrings Stretches

2) Piriformis Stretches

3) Knee Lifts

4) Knees to Chest Stretches

5) Back Extension Exercises

6) Gluteal Stretches

This can be dissected from a bunch of different angles, but what I will go with is the obvious. NONE OF THESE ARE BASED ON ANY ASSESSMENT. I can't tell you how many times someone has told me their "hamstrings are tight" only to find they are indeed not tight and only a symptom of a lower back problem. YES YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY! Tight hamstrings can sometimes be merely a symptom of a lower back problem that needs specific exercises to improve.

Case in point. I was working with a high school football player that REGULARLY stretches hamstrings as a part of his normal pre-workout routine. He sustained an injury during a game to his lower back and "magically" his hamstrings became tight and was having pain down his leg (sciatica). What ensued next was astonishing. I took him through an assessment of his lower back to find exactly how restricted he was in the lower back. Then we ONLY worked on his lower back...NOT his hamstrings (which by the way were being stretched daily prior to our first session together so you would assume they would be stretched back out after a few weeks of regular stretching).

After ONLY working on his lower back, he was able to touch his toes with NO restriction in his hamstrings. In just 2 sessions of working only on his lower back and he was back to full speed in practice and playing pain-free. Out of the list above, there was only one exercise I used (just a point of clarity there were many other exercises to ensure he was ready to return to sport). The rest of the exercises were simply unnecessary because of the assessment leading to the RIGHT activity.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...Without SPECIFIC activity based on ASSESSMENT, you could well be PROLONGING your problem or EVEN WORSE doing the very WRONG thing to yourself.

My biggest recommendation for everyone out there asking for exercises for something that they haven't had looked at...ALWAYS GET LOOKED AT BY A PROFESSIONAL! Your health is not something to be toyed around with. Also, healthcare professionals are not all created equally. YOU don't want someone who is going to give YOU the SAME BASIC SEVEN exercises they give EVERYONE and their cat. YOU want someone who looks at YOU objectively and creates a program specific for YOUR BODY!

That's one of the biggest reasons I do concierge sessions. We take a look at you specifically doing activity you normally do, find the problem, fix it, and prevent it from coming back.

-Dr. D

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