By Niki Mooney ATC, CTA, CXT, CPEP
The term athlete brings to mind a person who participates in a specific sport or activity. Many practitioners like to make a point when marketing their company that “We Treat Athletes” with the hope that it appeals to a more active, healthy clientele.
However, the argument could be made that everyone is an athlete and one of the jobs of the practitioner is to determine their patients sport and how to best help them excel. The sport may be running or basketball, but it could also be gardening, playing with grandchildren, or being able to clean the house. The challenge comes when trying to integrate an exercise and rehab program that is functional across the spectrum of sports, activities and skill levels.
Common Thread: Addressing Adaptations
As an Athletic Trainer I know this is where the StrongPosture program holds a lot of value. It is applicable for high level athletes and everyday athletes alike. Everyone has adaptations that impact the way the body moves. These adaptations can alter the quality of motion in both large and small ways. Patients can decrease pain and increase function by becoming aware of their individual faulty movement patterns and beginning to control and alter the dysfunction that has been created.
A focused posture routine requires the everyday athlete to pay attention to the details.
- How is my pelvis moving?
- Where is my head?
- Are my shoulders back?
- Can I stand balanced on one foot?
- How are my feet aligned?
The biofeedback created by the wall or ball used in the StrongPosture® BAM (Balance, Alignment & Motion) protocols allow the patient to quickly identify the faulty movement and begin the process of correcting postural distortions through segmental movement. By improving balance, alignment, and motion with a focus on strong posture awareness, patients will move better and perform better in all skills.
Posture Awareness: Basic Alignment Exercise
Align each PostureZone with a StrongPosture® Wall Lean
- Stand a foot away from a wall (back to wall)
- Lean back so your buttocks and shoulders touch the wall
- Keep your head level, eyes straight ahead
- Don’t look up! It’s okay if your head doesn’t reach the wall
The point of the exercise is to align your upper body and hips, and then to pull your head back into alignment as best as you can, while keeping your head level and eyes straight ahead.
- Take 5 slow breaths and TRY to press your head back towards the wall each time you exhale.
You may think your head is aligned over your torso and pelvis with ‘good posture’, but if you can’t lean comfortably against a wall with each zone touching the wall, something is out of line.