July 5, 2015. Sunday Times Of India
Is your exercise routine making you healthier or is it harming you? I would guess that most people believe their morning walk, daily yoga or gym workout is making them healthier, but this is not always the case.
Some face a situation where a simple morning walk causes back, hip or knee pain. Many take their morning walk as part of a weight control program, or to manage diabetes or high blood pressure. So, what happens when pain limits or prevents exercise? The most likely outcome is that the disease processes worsen.
What about yoga? The practice of yoga not only has the potential to improve flexibility and strength, but also conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and depression. However, yoga also has the potential for injury, including sprains, strains and herniated discs along with injuries of a more gradual onset. Of course it is possible to practice without injury, but doing so often goes against our own instincts. When doing a back bend or plough pose the tendency is to push further into the range of motion. These extremes of motion are where injury most often occurs.
A quick look at YouTube is all it takes to see what can go wrong at the gym. Injuries at the gym can be sudden in nature, such as sprains or strains, or cumulative from using poor form over a long period of time. Even doing an exercise with bad posture is detrimental to your health.
This leads to the question: how can you determine if your exercise is helping or harming your health? Analysis of your exercise routine by a Functional Manual Therapist can provide the answer. The goal of FMT is to allow each individual to tap into his or her unrealized existing potential and achieve maximum efficiency of movement. To achieve the goal FMT utilizes a treatment paradigm consisting of mechanical, neuromuscular and motor control.
In the mechanical assessment, FMT looks at the body’s physical ability to complete a motion through the muscles and joints. Neuromuscular training focuses on the body’s ability to have initiation, strength and endurance of muscles or muscle groups. Motor control integrates movement at each body segment to form an efficient whole-body motion.
For example, when going into forward or backward bending poses in yoga, a stiff spinal segment will put more pressure on the surrounding muscles and the adjacent spinal segments. Mechanical treatment of the stiff segment to allow the muscles to lengthen or shorten and the vertebra to forward or backward bend will take pressure off the adjacent segments. Efficient walking requires efficient core engagement to create stability over the standing leg and to allow the hip muscles to freely swing the opposite leg forward. For someone without core engagement, walking can damage the back, hips and knees. Neuromuscular re-education through prolonged holds will appropriately engage core muscles to allow for easier walking with less pain. Motor control training for appropriate posture during walking or cardiovascular exercise such as cycling or cross training can help mitigate negative effects of repetitive motion.
At VARDAN we have helped many people achieve their fitness goals— from cricket stars and actors to recreational athletes and the everyday person. FMT is beneficial for all people regardless of activity or ability level, and each patient’s program is tailored to meet their individual needs.
Steven Kofsky (PT, DPT, CFMT) is a Certified Functional Manual Therapist at VARDAN, a wellness initiative by The Times Group in association with the Institute of Physical Art, USA
Functional Manual Therapy™ (FMT) is a comprehensive approach to physiotherapy, which identifies and facilitates your existing potential through an in-depth examination and treatment of your mechanical capacity, neuromuscular function and motor control. Discover your potential to have less pain and function better with FMT!
To schedule your appointment at the VARDAN Centre (New Delhi):
SMS VFMT to 58888
Call 011-43580720-22 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday)
For more information, log on to www.vardan.in