Do you do the exercise recommendations from your RMT? Here is why you should!
NOT JUST AN ADD ON!
We have all been given exercise recommendations from our health care professionals…massage therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors… but do you do them? When being honest, most clients say ‘no’ or that they didn’t do them consistently.
Many people look at these exercise recommendations as an add on to the service when in fact they are an integral part of the treatment that you paid for.
WHY ARE THESE EXERCISE RECOMMENDATIONS IMPORTANT?
Although the hands-on treatment that you receive from your health provider is an important part of the process, this portion of the treatment is often just the starting point in the healing journey.
For treatment of conditions caused by postural imbalances…
In many cases, the conditions that we treat are due to muscle imbalances. An example of this would be conditions such as patella femoral syndrome. With this condition, the muscles on one side of the knee are pulling more than the other side. This pulls the kneecap in a way that interferes with the alignment of the knee. Upper back pain from sitting at a desk is another example. This is a common issue that our clients complain about. The muscles in the upper back become weak from being sedentary for long periods of time. At the same time, the muscles of the upper chest become short and tight from being in a chronically shortened position. This causes a pull through the upper back and results in pain between the shoulder blades. To heal and prevent further issue, these imbalances will need to be corrected.
Your massage therapist or other health professionals can help treat the symptoms and make some adjustments. Unfortunately when you return to your daily activities, it won’t take long for your symptoms to return. To make a lasting difference, you will need to do more than just see your healthcare professional for an hour or two a month. The exercises and recommendation that they provide give you the tools that you need to see long term results that last.
Exercises for trauma type injuries…
For rehabilitation from injuries such as whiplash, rotator cuff tears and other sprain/strain injuries, the exercises that you are given will be progressive and change with each stage in the healing journey.
Some of the exercises that you are given in the early stages of an injury are prescribed to help maintain your current level of mobility. With some injuries immobility is an issue. This lack of movement can cause your healthy muscle tissue to become weakened, or your joints can lose mobility due to lack of use. The exercises that you are given will help prevent any of these secondary issues from arising.
As your healing progresses, the home care exercises will progress as well. You will slowly begin to increase strength in the muscles around the injured area. Mild stretches will be given to help realign the muscle fibers and encourage mobility. Once the healing process is well underway and you’ve been able to regain stability, the goal of your exercises will be to maintain the level of stability around the injury.
The hands-on treatment can only go so far in helping heal from an injury. This progression of exercise recommendations will give you the tools you need to get you back to doing all the activities that you love!
GET THE FULL BENEFIT OF YOUR MASSAGE THERAPY TREATMENT
We hope this explanation will help you see that the advice your health care provider gives you is a valuable and important part of your service. When you disregard these recommendations, you are not getting the full benefit of the treatment. The next time your health care provider asks if you have been doing the recommended exercises, we hope the answer is ‘YES!”