Corrective exercises is an approach to physical therapy that changes the focus of treatment on faulty movement patterns, structural, and functional imbalances. The goal of corrective exercise is to individualize the rehabilitation process to the patients needs.
A functional imbalance is when muscles adapt in response to detailed movement patterns, typically unequal values of strength and flexibility of agonist and antagonist muscle groups. When functional imbalances are present, our body adapts to faulty movement patterns, and in the long run, as load and intensity of our movements increase, so will chances of injury. Our goal is to correct these imbalances so that we may preform better. Often times, functional imbalances can lead to pathological imbalances. The best example of this would be poor rotator cuff mechanics and functional imbalances (weaker rotators) leading to labral tears of the shoulder.
Many patients begin with a basic movement screening, where a directional exercise will be prescribed to the patient to relieve their pain. This is known as The McKenzie Method or end range joint loading. One directional preference is discovered, patients will progress their therapy into assessing breathing patterns, introducing diaphragmatic breathing so that proper stabilization of the spine can be learned. Once the basics are achieved, treatment is individualized to the patients muscle imbalances via functional testing and screening.
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