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What is Corrective Exercise?
Corrective Exercise is any form of exercise that brings your body back into a position that allows you to move fr eely and without pain. Your body is designed to perform at its best when it is in a position of good posture. Efficient function and sound orthopaedic function are one and the same. Unfortunately due to injury, pain or the bad habits of slouching and leaning we create muscle imbalances and poor body mechanics. Over time, the repetitive use of poor body mechanics resulting from poor posture and injury compensation will tighten certain areas of the bod y while loosening others. Muscles that are chronically stretched will become weaker and some may not even work at all. Compromised movements in one part of the body will lead to symptoms developing in another part of the body.
Corrective Exercise is designed to unwind these imbalances and compensations while guiding the body to move in its ideal position. Simplified, the goal is to loosen the muscles that have become tight, tighten the muscles that have become loose, activate the muscles that have become lazy and inhibit the muscles that have become overactive. You will be working towards re-educating your body to move as it was designed so that it can function at its’ peak. The exercises improve your body’s biomechanics by re-educating the body on movement patterns. The body moves in patterns, each muscle is connected to another muscle and our nervous system communicates between each muscle and joint to create movement. Every movement the body makes is a coordinated interplay between muscles that have to contract and shorten, muscles that have to contract and stabilize, and other muscles that have to relax and lengthen on the opposite side of the joint.
Corrective exercise re-educates the nervous system to utilize the muscles and joints in its correct sequence. When your body stops compensating for imbalances you are able to move freely and your pain disappears. There are three components to all corrective exercise programs: The first is to restore range of motion or your mobility. This is done by inhibiting the overactive muscles through massage and soft tissue mobilization. You will be taught self-massage techniques using tools, like the foam roller, “Stick” or tennis ball. A variety of stretching techniques are also utilized to lengthen the shortened muscles and tissues that are restricting your range of motion. The mobility exercises will become your daily maintenance or homework. Step two is to reinforce a correct movement pattern. These corrective exercises aim to target the muscles that prevent excessive movement by creating stability in the joints. The “software” program your central nervous systems uses to create joint stability is different than the “software” program the CNS uses to create movement, and needs to be trained differently to how you train for hypertrophy of the deltoids for example. Efficient joint stability (centration) is the foundation that dynamic movement is based on. The saying "you can't shoot a cannon ball out of a canoe" is a good illustration of the principle; the force and accuracy of that shot won’t be very good when compared to shooting the same cannon ball from a cannon bolted to a concrete pad. Your body derives power the same way, from a stable platform. And we need to reinforce the body’s ability to create this stability. The final step is to reload, the movement pattern. This is where the real fun begins. By integrating full body movement patterns the muscles and joints are required to work together in their proper sequence. Progressive loading is placed on dynamic movements. Loading is not just an increase in the amount of weight lifted. Loading is the addition of cardio-respiratory demand, metabolic demand, speed, balance and/or stress on a body position. Ultimately, the goal is to move better and to move without pain. The exercises are meant to challenge the nervous system to learn new and more efficient ways to move the body. The exercises are not easy, you will be constantly challenged to improve motor control, core & joint stability, and explore your ROM (range of movement). You don’t need much in the way of equipment or an expensive gym membership and once you have worked through the programme many of the key exercises can be used as part of your warm-up or cool-down during your favourite activities and sports.
Corrective Exercise combines the scientific principles of biomechanics, physics, motor control and human physiology to correct the cumulative stresses on your body by restoring flexibility and eliminating pain. Benefits of Corrective Exercises Pain Reduction: The results can be immediate and huge. Although they may not be permanent, they can be reproduced by doing them daily at home. Enables an individual to control the pain without the use of drugs, manipulation or surgery. Enhances functional and athletic performance. Helps in decreasing further injuries from training and sports. Helps in detecting physical weaknesses and imbalances. Helps in differentiating between movement quality and compensations. Helps in detecting the cause-and-effect relationship to micro trauma. Improves daily living activities. Improves strength and flexibility. Improves posture. Reduces stress. Gives an overall sense of wellbeing.
Purpose of Corrective Exercise:
Gives a long lasting solution for injuries, aches, pains and joint problems. It is the missing connection for an individual who needs exercise to improve his/her health, fitness and athletic performance. The basis of corrective exercise is that each muscle is connected to another muscle and the nervous system communicates with all the joints and muscles. Corrective exercise helps in reintroducing appropriate structure in the body, thus enabling a person to move freely with less pain. Corrective exercise benefits people of all abilities and ages. For an athlete or a sports person, corrective exercise helps in enhancing efficiency and performance level, reduces the risk of injury and allows the body to rehabilitate in the best way from injury. Corrective exercises focus on resolving the cause of pain, instead of addressing the symptoms only. It is a simple and effective method for pain relief thus allowing you to live a full and active life.