Functional Exercise Rehabilitation
What is Functional Exercise Rehabilitation and how is it different from traditional physical therapy or Chiropractic care that focuses on the area of complaint?
The Ethos of functional medicine is a philosophical shift from treating the area of pain to treating the area of dysfunction. In other words, instead of treating what hurts, we treat the cause of the hurt! Functional Exercise Rehabilitation is an integral part of your care plan, with a main goal being returning you to your work and play and the tools to prevent further injury.
Your treatment is performed using positions and activities that closely resemble the activities that you would like to perform. To use a very familiar scenario as an example, let’s focus on back pain. Many of you experience back pain over the course of your lives and there are many different ways to go about treating back pain. Often the source of back pain lies in problems occurring in the ankles, hips, or upper back. By performing tests, which require the entire body to turn, bend, and rotate throughout space we can assess where the movement is and isn’t occurring. After a thorough assessment, we will prescribe a functional exercise program designed to address all the limitations and thus decrease pain and improve function.
The exercises prescribed will look very similar to activities, which you would like to return to. For instance, if you wish to return to tennis, your stretches will look a lot like the backhand or serve, and your strengthening exercises will be performed in an upright position and require rotating in a pain free manner. This same approach is used for all areas in the body. The results are long-term and you will begin to see the transformation very quickly. The rehabilitation is fun because the exercises require full body movements and in highlighting areas for improvement you and your therapist will have a good laugh. Some soreness in new areas (muscle you might not have used for some time) can be expected but stretching, massage and icing will help to alleviate the soreness. Some patients describe this as a good soreness “one that makes you feel alive!”