Corrective Exercise vs Physiotherapy – A Complete Overview
While physiotherapists and exercise physiologists such as myself work in a similar field, it is difficult to dissect and define the differences between both positions. The reason is that both share many of the same features and values. They both cover a similar broad scope in the field and both are professionally trained. These professions overlap a great deal and for the average person, you might find the treatment provided from either is exceptional.
I am a qualified CHEK Practitioner and Personal trainer with over a decade of experience in corrective exercise knowledge some have considered me to be an exercise physiologist because of the extent of my furthered education in corrective exercise with the CHEK institute. I have been recognised as someone an individual comes to when all else fails. I am somewhat their last resort in trying to help with an injury. But to give you a better understanding, we’ll take a moment to explore both professions briefly. This will help you to gain more insight into the realm of corrective exercise and physiotherapy and the brand I have created at Inpower Fitness In St Leonards.
The physiotherapist plays a key role in allied health. Their education consists of 4 years at a University that provides an in depth understanding of the musculoskeletal system. This is their main area of focus. They handle the prevention, treatment and the management of musculoskeletal disorders. Some professionals do extend their time in college and focus on areas of specialty in addition to the musculoskeletal system. This includes rehabilitation for the cardiovascular, pulmonary and neurological systems. Specialists may also focus on targeted areas like pediatric injuries or sports injuries.
Treatment methods for the physiotherapist will vary from one professional to the next. Commonly, these individuals will take advantage of things like therapeutic exercise, acupuncture, joint manipulation and mobilization, massage and similar treatments. Continued education is required in this position in order to remain accredited.
Exercise physiology is a different approach to what a traditional physiotherapist handles. These individuals also require a 4 year degree from a University. Their focus is on corrective exercise as part of their treatment process. These professionals use exercises to combat injury, prevent chronic disease and to better manage the body. Their understanding is on the impact of exercise and how it impacts a person’s overall health and how it can be used for healing.
Like other healthcare professions, exercise physiologists may have areas of specialty within their role. Professionals who focus on behaviour and lifestyle modification can be found in both private and public health. When you meet with this professional, they will go over any areas of concern and will review the targeted areas you need to work on for optimum health. They too must keep up with the changing world of healthcare and continue their education in order to remain accredited.
Are These Two Roles Just Personal Trainers?
A common misconception is that a physiologist and an exercise physiologist are just a trumped up version of a personal trainer. The truth is that are not. They both deal with the healing and rehabilitation of the body. A personal trainer is different in the fact that they don’t require a college education. While they need to have some degree of understanding about the human body, there is no four year program for it. A person may become accredited through a national program to boost their visibility and to work in some national chains in this role. The program guarantees the person will receive their certification at the end of the course which I think is ridiculous considering the importance they play in everyone’s lives and wellbeing. Their focus is simply on motivating their clients to exercise and to boost their fitness levels. This isn’t done to treat or cure any diseases the individual may have.
What About a CHEK Practitioner?
There’s a good chance you’ve heard the term CHECK Practitioner. But what does that mean? CHEK is not only the last name of Paul Check who is an important part of the founding community. It also stands for Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology. The CHEK Institute features the experience and expertise of Paul’s 25+ years of experience as a holistic health coach.
While there is a lot of positive information out there about CHEK practitioners, it is important to understand that some of the comprehensive healing practices are more diverse than you would expect from a Personal Trainer or physiologist. One who studies deep into the CHEK Levels gains a focus on more than just the physical and mental side of things, with an included aspect of digging into the spiritual health of a person.
The program is also not one a person completes in a few months. Like traditional physiology courses, practitioners are required to go through several years of training to earn their certification. Even with the years of training, those who become a CHEK practitioners are still required to continue to learn and gain more of an understanding of the practice. A certification and license is then maintained through continued education for these individuals.
Because of the watchful eyes on this practice, participants do go through a comprehensive evaluation, coaching and treatment process. This program does not guarantee that those who attend will receive certification. Like a traditional college course, the information is presented to the student and certification is then awarded to those who have shown they have a deep understanding of the program and have completed the individual sections of the course.
As they complete the program, the student CHEK practitioner goes through an extensive assessment process. This views their education and training and explores their work with the patients and their understanding of the human body. This includes the complex interrelated systems and the impact they have on each other. The CHEK practitioner will then use assessment tools to help them diagnose their patients to provide exceptional care. This is done through a physical examination of the individual and an in depth questionnaire that pinpoints specific areas of concern the individual may be dealing with. Like traditional physiologists, the CHEK practitioner specializes in an area that is unique to themselves.
Take The Time to Research the Professional You’re Working With
When you deal with physiotherapists, you need to understand that they are not all the same. Each professional will have their own area of expertise and you need to ensure that it aligns with what you need. While someone may be the best in their field, it doesn’t mean much if they are focusing on an area that isn’t explicitly what you need.
For example, if you find a physiotherapist that is an expert in the lower body, they wouldn’t be a good match for the upper body. While they could help you to treat the underlying issues, they wouldn’t have the depth of knowledge of someone who focuses more heavily in that target area.
Another thing to consider is the approach these professionals take to the injuries themselves. Not every professional will address the underlying cause of your concern. In some cases, they’ll just fix the symptoms associated with the problem, while ignoring the big picture. While this can bring temporary relief it is short lived and doesn’t help you to fully heal. That is my biggest issue. That why I continued my education on Myofascial lines.
Myofascial Lines are Important
Myofascial lines are an important part of this process. They help the body to correctly move, build stability and to improve coordination. When you train the body to boost endurance and awareness, these areas are critically important. With strength and stability in place, you can help to reduce pain and structural weaknesses. As in most cases, these are the underlying sections that are contributing to the overall problem.
A good way to look at this is to view it as a chain of events in the body. When you experience injuries or movement limitations, areas of the body become weaker and performance decreases. An injury with a hamstring, for example, could cause you difficulty with your calves and even the lower back.
When you look at your body, there are eight major myofascial lines in the body. There is the spiral line that runs from the neck to the feet, the arm line that runs along the arms, the superficial front line that runs through the centre of the chest down the legs, and on a deeper level, you have the front line that follows the deep tissue muscles of the body. There’s also a later line that runs along both sides of the body, and a superficial back line that runs from the head to the base of the feet on the back side of the body.
The Fascial System is Complex
To say the fascial system is complex is an understatement. Today, many scientists are still puzzled by the complexity of these systems. While there is an understanding of the logical consequences associated with them and injury, there are still questions about the impact they can have when a part of strength training.
What they do know is that the fascia system is very similar to the internet. They surround the organs and transmit information from one end of the body to the next. They allow the body to move with ease and create minimal friction. They are an oily tissue that for years wasn’t viewed as being much more than “meat” on the body. In recent years, the science community has focused more heavily on this system and taken a keen interest in it. They have realized there are major components to it that cannot be overlooked. First, they are collagen fibers that have an incredible amount of strength to them. The elastin in these is very similar to a rubber band. This allows them more elasticity and to better encase the organs and help to hold them in place. The water which remains between these fibers is what helps them to glide smoothly, and is one of the reasons why they are able to glide between and over each other with ease.
Fascia Facts You Need to Know
There are some important fascia facts that are important in your understanding of the human body. As you explore corrective exercise more, these each play a pivotal role.
- Fascia are a 3D structural support system for your organs.
- They minimize the stress experienced by bones, joints and muscles.
- These muscles help the body to function more efficiently and help to reduce energy consumption.
- Will remodel themselves to help improve movement and reduce the risk of stress based injuries in the muscles of the body.
- Have a unique ability to heal themselves and to constantly repair as necessary.
- They act independently of the central nervous system. In fact, they use gravity to help maintain tension and shape, which allows us to maintain certain movements and postures with ease.
- Allows the body to train as a whole, rather than individual sections. This is because their design allows the entire body to participate in certain movements and this helps to boost physical fitness and health.
As we look at the fascia, we need to understand that myofascial lines are a critical part of our body’s mobility. As we improve them and train, we are able to better function and move utilizing three planes of motion. When exercising, it is critical to continue to work the entire system at all times to improve their durability and strength. You’ll find that as they develop more, you also have a better speed than if you weren’t optimizing the function of the fascia.
Dos and Don’ts of Training this Neuromyofascial Web
- Do use variation rather than repetition, to help smooth out the fascia.
- Don’t use repetitive motion exercises that work the same fascial line too frequently in a single workout.
- Do work the entire body with your movements. The key here is to engage and train the system.
- Don’t work out with upper level loads all the time. This will help to prevent injury.
- Do teach your body adaptive movements.
- Don’t train at the same tempo for each session, as it limits growth and development.
Corrective Exercises and Stretches that are More Beneficial to Rehabilitation
Corrective exercises and stretches work together and independent of each other. To understand that, you need to understand the difference between both of them.
Rehabilitation is a process that is essential in the treatment of an injury. It is designed to help promote the recovery of ligaments, muscles and tendons, while providing the body with the functional stability needed to heal. Injuries prevent the body from functioning properly and form an internal weakness. To heal, the body needs to go beyond these injuries and learn to function again. This process is essentially the reconditioning and strengthening of the internal elements to a preinjury state.
Corrective exercise ties into that. This is an exercise that is designed to improve biomechanics and to correct posture. Unlike rehabilitation, this takes a corrective action against improper biomechanics. These are specific to the actual individuals needs and the corrective exercises are adjusted based on these needs. This is often done with a key set of exercises that are determined essential for that individual.
Corrective exercises and stretches are more beneficial to people than rehabilitation exercise. The reason is they not only strengthen muscles that have become weak, but they also help to fix the muscle imbalances in the body that can lead to injury in the first place. This reduces the risk of the body becoming injured against and can help to restore perfect health.
A Look at Some Corrective Exercises
To gain some insight into corrective exercises, it is important to look at an example of them. The first is the Golf Ball Roll. This exercise helps to address musculoskeletal deviations that can lead to both over pronation and chronic pain in the body. This is caused by the foot flattening under the weight of the body and impacting the mid line.
This corrective exercise is simple. Take a golf ball and place it on the base of your foot. Now roll the ball around on the sore spots of the foot. This can be done for 30 seconds to a minute on each foot. Do this standing up and you’ll experience results in just a few day. Continue to do this to continue to improve the health of your feet. Just avoid putting too much pressure on your foot.
Roller Quadriceps are designed to address the four quadriceps in the upper leg. Three of them are located at the top of the leg, and stretch to the kneecap. The fourth, known as the rectus femoris, runs from the pelvic area to the knee cap. This muscle is responsible for the flexing in the hip. This includes the ability to extend it when sitting, or to stand up properly. When damaged, it can prevent a person from changing position and can cause stress to the lumbar spine, damage can also result in severe lower back pain. An effective corrective exercise requires a foam roller to be placed perpendicular to your thigh as you lie on it. Roll your body over the foam roller in areas where there is soreness and use your body weight to hold you in place in these sections for about a minute each. Do this daily for optimum results.
The iliotibial band is another area that can benefit from corrective exercise. This is the band that connects the gluteus maximus to the lower leg. When the body is free from injury, these muscles will work together and allow you to easily rotate your foot. When the muscles experience over pronation, this can cause these muscles to work ineffectively. That may lead to irritation and possibly inflammation. Fortunately, this corrective exercise can help to improve the functioning. Just note that you need to avoid the knee joints when doing this movement as it can cause damage to the knee. All you need to do is take the roller and lie it perpendicular on the floor. Take the side of your thigh and lie on it. Roll over the sore sections of the leg and hold your body weight against those areas for a minute or two daily. You’ll begin to notice a vast improvement in just a few short days.
With more time spent in front of a television, sitting at a computer and even driving, the gluteal complex is experiencing more stress and strain. As these muscles become weaker, it can make walking and other simple tasks hard. But many of those concerns can be addressed with a simple baseball. All you do is lie on your back with your knees bent. Take a baseball and roll it around under your buttocks. Stop and hold the baseball at these spots for a few minutes and then continue. If you don’t have a baseball, a tennis ball will work fine for this corrective exercise. It is important you keep your knees bent at all times to avoid hyperextending your lumbar spine, which may result in further injury.
Excessive thoracic kyphosis is one of the most common conditions that lead to upper back pain. This is the result of chronic stress and sitting at a computer for long periods of time. With this condition, you begin to experience rounding in the area of the shoulders, neck and head. When you stand, the erect spine then experiences a multitude of tension and can lead to further problems. To address this, you can take a pair of tennis balls and place each on one of the sides of your spine. Ideally, this placement is in the mid to upper section of your back. You then support your head and bend your knees as you lie on the balls. You can then raise your pelvis and you flatten the lower back. Move along the balls until you find a sore spot. Then hold the position for 30 seconds. Keep doing this until you have worked the balls around the spine and the upper back. It is important to note that if you feel any extreme pain, you must cease this process at once, as it may be linked to an underlying condition with the spine.
Your daily activities may be impacting your spine. Things like lunging, squatting and even walking, require you to utilize different sections of the body. This includes your ankles. When they are working properly, the ankles allow you to move forward and to bend as needed to adjust to different positions. When they become restricted, the ankle dorsiflex can cause pain and lead to an inability to move. Fortunately, there is a corrective exercise for this concern. All you need to do is to take a BOSU ball and stand erect next to it. Take your heel and place it on the back of the ball. Then with the heel in a downward position, begin to rotate the back of the leg in an outward motion. Do this to loosen up the muscles and to improve their function. Just be sure to go slowly and avoid forcing the muscle that can lead to further injury of the body.
Corrective exercises are an essential part of keeping the body healthy and limber. When you utilize them with an expert, you are able to restore the function of the body and to ensure you have a full range of motion in place. Keep these exercises in mind the next time you are experiencing a degree of pain, and consider working closely with a specialist to further address any underlying concerns you may have. Just remember that no physical activities should be started without consulting with your physician first. They will understand your unique healthcare needs and will address any potential concerns that they might have.
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