Other times we become injured as we increase the physical demands on our body with these new goals. Even these injuries can be predicted - and therefore prevented - with the help of a trained health care professional.
So, reaching our goals doesn’t have to be so frustrating.
When it comes to preventing tooth decay, we see a dentist. We have the oil in our car checked and changed regularly to allow it to run most efficiently, especially if we are about to push the car a bit with a long road trip. So, certainly when you are about to embark on a new level of physicality, or if you have pain or physical limitation with your muscles or joints, it makes sense to consult a health professional, such as a chiropractic doctor or physiotherapist.
One common tool chiropractic doctors and physiotherapists use to discover the physical weak links in the kinetic chain are functional movement tests or screens. These tests involve breaking down complex movement into its simpler component movements and watching a patient complete these movement patterns that are key to normal function. Examples include the overhead squat and the one-legged squat. By screening these patterns, we can identify limitations in strength and length of muscles. Once abnormal function has been identified, we help to correct this through prescribed stretches, mobility exercises, and strengthening exercises.
These screens are helpful when you are injury free, allowing you to prevent an injury before it starts. If there has been injury to tissue, repetitive strain, or overuse to overcompensating tissues, we will often need to employ therapies, such as Active Release Therapy or Shockwave Therapy, to help with healing and break down accumulated scar tissue, in addition to those prescribed exercises.
Functional movement screens are often coupled with other forms of analysis, such as muscle testing, which identifies weak or inhibited muscles through isolated resistive tests. We are also trained to offer Running Gait Assessment which assesses everything from cadence, stride, shoes and more. All of these tests and screens are considered when we make recommendations to prevent injury and improve performance.
So, if you or someone you know has made a new year’s resolution to get more active, call and book an assessment with a chiropractor or physiotherapist first - whether injured or not. We are here to help you achieve your goals this year and always.
by Dr. Erin Kempt-Sutherland, DC