Corrective exercises are the use of bodily movements and/or postures to restore desirable changes in diseased or injured tissues. The corrective exercises are movement strategies that minimize or eliminate compensation. Corrective exercises should precede more integrated exercises, because they can cue the patient’s motor system to respond in a more desirable way and assist in removing or improving biomechanical constraints. Use of specific exercises are used to correct deficiencies caused by trauma, inactivity, muscular imbalances, poor flexibility or biomechanical inadequacies.
As with any type of therapy, a therapeutic exercise program is designed to correct specific disabilities of the individual patient. The program is evaluated periodically and modified as indicated by the patient’s progress and response to the prescribed regimen. Exercises affect the body both locally and systemically. This means exercises can bring about changes in the nervous, circulatory, and endocrine systems as well as the musculoskeletal system.
Corrective exercises are assessed by looking at clinical lifestyle recommendations, manual treatments and functional exercises. All of these play an integral part in patients regaining normal function of their spine and limbs, returning patients to their active daily lifestyles. Therapy begins by identifying faulty patterns of movement often resulting from poor posture, improper lifting mechanics, fitness training errors or injury. In the early stages, subtle changes in movement or muscle activation can go unnoticed by the patient not presenting any symptoms of pain or discomfort. However over time, the increased stresses placed on the joints and surrounding soft tissues can produce pain in muscles or joints and/or a loss in normal range of motion. In situations such as these, pain is often the last thing to come. This means the dysfunction is present but does not become painful immediately. Pain may be due to an area compensating and being over-worked from another area not pulling its weight.
This comprehensive and consistent approach works to retrain muscles, restore joint function and prevent recurring injuries as well as doctor visits. When corrective exercises become necessary, they help maintain proper posture, improve lifting mechanics while helping to determine the “Do’s and Don’ts” related to certain jobs or daily activities. The effectiveness of the treatment protocol depends on the patient’s commitment to their therapeutic exercises and doctor’s recommendations.
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