Corrective exercises tune up human movement system

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We all want to perform the activities of daily life more efficiently and without muscle or joint pain, just as we want to prevent sports injuries.

So the big question is, “How do I get started?”

The human movement system is interdependent. It is comprised of skeletal, nervous and muscular components that collaborate with one another to allow the body to move efficiently. The system also interacts with internal and external environments to gather necessary information to produce appropriate movement patterns. The process ensures optimum functioning of human movement.

During movement, the body must maintain its center of gravity over a constantly changing base of support. As one joint moves, others move in response. However, when a joint is out of alignment, abnormal force is placed on joint surfaces. A small change in joint angle can affect the tension produced by muscles surrounding it. If muscle length is altered as a result of misalignment, poor posture or repetitive movement, the muscle will be unable to move efficiently, which can lead to further dysfunction.

Corrective exercise, a relatively new term, is a way for people to prevent and alleviate joint misalignments and muscular dysfunction. Unlike general exercise routines that typically work in one plane of motion, corrective exercise comes with the knowledge that the human movement system is constantly accelerating, decelerating and stabilizing in all planes of motion. Corrective exercise programs become more specific with a broader knowledge of functional movement and musculoskeletal synergy.

Getting started involves asking a certified professional to assess the static and dynamic movements of your body. Recognizing optimum movement requires a thorough understanding of the human movement system. Understanding normal movement allows for the identification of abnormal movement, which can indicate muscle imbalances and corrective strategies.

All humans experience movement dysfunction. Our daily lives are overwhelmed with repetitive movement patterns, such as sitting too long or performing activities with poor posture. These dysfunctions lead to movement impairment and eventual injury.

The alleviation of such dysfunction is not just a matter of exercising, but of what exercises you are doing and how you are doing them.

Exercise without assessment suddenly becomes inadequate, as exercise is not enough to alleviate movement impairment.

Theresa Osborne is the AmeriCorps volunteer at the Walla Walla YMCA. She has a master’s in exercise science and certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and performance enhancement specialist.

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