Many of us who train and exercise regularly enjoy following a programme or plan to feel as though we are travelling through a journey of progression towards a better outcome. At Twickenham Chiropractic Health Centre we feel that treating your injury doesn’t need to be any different to this, and it certainly doesn’t need to be complicated. That’s why we find it useful to work through your ‘ABCs’ with chiropractic and rehabilitation to get you back to full health.
A is for Alignment. Picture your body as just your skeleton alone. If each bone is stacked nicely on top of the bones below it through a series of joints, you would be said to have good alignment, and thus good posture. In this scenario joints are not being twisted or compressed, and so things can load evenly and appropriately, and your body is more likely to be able to cope with higher loads (i.e. training and exercise).
Poor alignment means that joints are not able to move optimally and often become stiff or restricted. This will have a negative effect on your nervous system function and will cause functionally weak muscles and overly tight fascia (the connective tissue between the skin layer and muscles). You may eventually feel pain or weakness at this site but if you try to activate or strengthen straight away without realigning first you will not be able to properly activate the muscle groups you are targeting; and if there is compression, you could even be causing further damage.
B is for Biomechanics. Once you have improved alignment in your musculoskeletal system passively (i.e. when you’re not moving), the next step is to check that you can hold on to that alignment through movement. During movement, we expect that the joints should move appropriately in order to rotate, glide and hinge next to each other. But what we’re looking for is for the appropriate amount of movement of the relevant joints, at the appropriate timing. We can see and feel what is happening at various joints in your body whilst you are performing the movement that causes pain or problems. We can usually feel whether something is moving too much; not enough; too early; or too late. This then indicates where we need to start releasing and retraining muscles to create a nice net balance that allows the bones to move under control as they should.
C is for Control. It is all very well being able to keep good mechanics in small, easier exercises. But we need to know that you can keep control as the movements get progressively harder where the joints and muscles are becoming fatigued. At this point we can prescribe a rehab programme which will entail some mobility drills and some activation exercises where we’ll check that you can keep your ‘ABCs’ as you progress back to your full training.
This may be longer or shorter depending on how long you have had the problem; how easy or complex it seems to be; and how damaged the tissues are. The earlier we can catch problems, the less time you generally need to take out of training or scale training, and the better your prognosis.
Don’t let a little niggle become a big problem. As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in contact with us here at Twickenham Chiropractic Health Centre and arrange a chat with either Lee or Helen.