June 14, 2018
Today I have the pleasure of sharing with everyone a guest Blog (by Paul-Andre Morand) who is a colleague of mine and a very experienced therapist dealing with injury through movement correction. His knowledge is vast and specialised I would encourage anyone who is suffering from injury to read the following article and get in touch with Paul.
Maximum Recovery Through Natural Movement
There are two major phases of recovery from pain. The first is to treat the pain and its cause. To give you the relief you need to get back to your life; to get back to the things you love. The second phase is to restore your body’s movement capabilities. To address the movement habits that, over time, increase our likelihood of injury. The thing is, pain is the final signal of a problem. It’s what happens when your body has run out of options to mitigate a problem. It’s the kind of signal we can’t ignore and can’t help but notice. Once we’ve calmed and addressed that signal, we tend to forego our rehab exercises and go back to our normal routine. I have found that this is one of the toughest challenges to successful treatment and prevention of recurrence: the adherence to rehabilitative exercises. We get to a point where the pain is gone but the tissues haven’t fully adapted or grown from the injury. Then we go back to our usual activities and slowly things devolve back to the point of pain. The signals are there telling us something isn’t quite right but we can’t perceive them, or perhaps we simply ignore them.
We often struggle to perceive these signals because we lack awareness of our bodies. We have no sense of what a healthy baseline is. A simple remedy to this is to move regularly and maintain control of our entire body. It’s like having an inventory list and performing regular maintenance. It lets you know how things are working and whether they’re improving, remaining the same or getting worse. I like to use the analogy of a scratch card. The concealed image represents your body’s potential range of motion, the covered areas represent the ranges of motion that you avoid due to injury or lack of use, and the areas that you scratch to reveal the image are the ranges of motion that you use regularly, i.e. your active ranges of motion.
The more of the scratch card you reveal, the more awareness and control you have over your body. This offers you a more accurate representation of your body’s capacities. You can think of it as shining a light on things you had lost. Recovering lost skills, abilities and ranges of motion. This builds your brain's map of the body and allows it to be more prepared and resilient in demanding situations. This is particularly valuable because most injuries occur in positions that we’re not strong in or familiar with. It's like any form of preparation and stress inoculation. In order to be sufficiently prepared for what life throws at you, you need to know yourself and your capabilities, as well as be exposed to the stresses of life at a manageable level.
The way I deal with this is to look at an injured area in relation to the rest of the body. Anatomy in Motion has taught me that all bones and joints in the body move together in harmony in predictable ways (when things are going well). We understand that when we walk the bones of the foot need to move in a certain way, which influences the way the knee moves, then the hip, then the low back, all the way to the tips of your fingers. By mapping out these relationships we can effectively look at what the entire body is doing rather than just the painful area. It means we can pinpoint the “weak” link in the chain. With the scratch card analogy in mind, it means we can pinpoint what ranges of motion the body isn’t accessing and why it’s unable or unwilling to access them. This ability has proven to be powerful in the lasting resolution of chronic pain as it allows us to treat the entire body and all of its structures in a logical way. This leaves no stone unturned and ensures the body overcomes all levels of the injury, its compensations and its causes.
When the body sustains an injury or any kind of trauma, it immediately seeks to dissipate the problem. To distribute the trauma to other areas and create a strategy of compensation. You see this in the withdrawal reflex if you touch a hot stove, stand on a nail, or when you sprain your ankle and shift your weight to the other leg to avoid aggravating the issue. You even see this in concussions that result from trauma to the lower parts of the spine. The force is transmitted and dissipated away from the point of impact to more distal body parts. Mapping out the body's movement capacity against its movement potential helps us identify where and how your body has coped and worked around traumas and injuries. With this map, we can begin to reintegrate all the parts; we can begin to shine a light on the areas that have been bracing or become less active as a result of the initial trauma. You can think of it is as reawakening dormant areas or calming down areas that are still in shock. You're communicating with them and reassuring the brain that it is safe to move again. This allows you to reintegrate the parts to the whole and get the body moving efficiently as one again.
If you've suffered in pain with no clear cause, or you find yourself dealing with an endless stream of injuries, niggles or limitations, you should consider a thorough assessment of your movement capabilities. I primarily use the Anatomy in Motion method as I have found it to be the most detailed and effective at assessing the entire body. We start with a comprehensive injury history to point us towards the areas that may still be impacted. From here we perform static and dynamic movement and gait assessments to pin point the joint motions that your body is avoiding. With these findings we can then begin to reintroduce these movements in sync with your entire structure. Through gentle movement and hands-on guidance we encourage the realignment of the bones to restore full, pain free range of motion.
To find out more or book a free consultation, go to www.balanceneuroclinic.com or call Paul Morand at 0873225045.