What Is Corrective Exercise And How It Can Help
What is Corrective Exercise
Corrective Exercise programmes are prescribed to correct musculoskeletal imbalance, bringing the body back into its normal postural position. It is suitable for all ages and lifestyles, from the grandparents seeking to enjoy pain free activity with their grandchildren, through to the competitive athlete frustrated with reoccurring pain or an injury.
Proper Posture Helps Your Body Perform At Its Optimal Level
The body is designed such that it performs at its optimal level when it assumes a proper posture. The nature of modern living sees many individuals developing bad postural habits such as slouching whilst driving, leaning and sitting at desks in awkward positions at work or carrying a heavy brief case or laptop bag in one hand causing an imbalance in muscular function.
Gradually these incorrect postural positions assumed in daily activities cause tightening or stiffness in certain regions and loosening in other areas. Muscles become overactive in one area whilst under-active in others. Sympathetic activation of one group of muscles, as a compensator for other under-active ones, initiates a chain of incorrect musculoskeletal actions throughout the body.
For example, a person’s left hip may not be working properly. This may result in a rotator cuff problem or tight calf muscles. If the movements are compromised in one region of the body, it will cause symptoms in another part of the body.
How Corrective Exercise Helps
Corrective exercise helps in reversing these compensations and imbalances and directs the body to work in coordination and without pain. Corrective exercise helps in relaxing the overactive (tight) muscles and activating the under-active muscles. Basically, it helps in re-training the body to move as it was designed to move in order to function at its optimal level; it is a simple and effective method for pain relief, thus allowing the individual to enjoy a full and active life.
Corrective exercise enhances the body’s biomechanics and eliminates the negative stresses from the body, as these negative stresses build up in the body resulting in pain and affecting the body’s normal range of movements. Through corrective exercises, the correct structure of the body is restored and the body stops compensating for imbalances; this results in the ability to move freely without pain.
Corrective Exercise Specialists
Corrective exercise is often prescribed by a Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES). It is important to make clear that a CES is not medically trained and therefore cannot diagnose medical conditions.
Static Postural Assessment
The CES will usually conduct a static postural assessment to observe the persons default postural stance. This will typically be followed up by a transitional movement assessment and/or a dynamic movement assessment; the CES looks to identify:
- Musculoskeletal system imbalances
- Incorrect movement patterns
- Muscle dysfunction
- Movement restrictions
- Overall ability to move well
The findings of the movement assessment will determine the programme of corrective exercises required to address the problem and reduce/remove the pain. It is important to note that corrective exercise is not generally prescribed for the improvement of general fitness alone, but it is not uncommon to find it embedded within a general health and fitness regime.
Corrective Exercise Specialists are frequently found working in support of physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors, by providing support to carry on with the exercises given and return to full capacity pain free.
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