With each finding, there are biomechanical treatments and rehab exercises that can be recommended. Some of these are relatively low cost and low tech, whereas others require expensive equipment and can be called high tech. Treatments and exercises are divided into two groups related to the body’s regional and global centers of gravity. X-rays and physical exams test regional centers of gravity, whereas the digital foot scan and the center of gravity scan examine our global centers of gravity.
We have many options when choosing rehab exercises. Below are products and rehab exercises we recommend in our office.
Wearing custom foot orthotics is the most important rehab exercise available. Custom foot orthotics support a person to stand in a posturally better position, as all three arches of the feet are supported, making the body’s structure more aligned and balanced. There is a continual reeducation process going on with each day orthotics are worn. Custom orthotics should be worn in all shoes every day, not just your exercise shoes.
Kinesio-tape. This relatively new therapy has contributed greatly to the acceleration of healing of injuries and the support of areas vulnerable to injuries. Kinesio-tape was developed by a Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase. The 2012 Summer Olympics showcased many athletes using Kinesio-tape as a supportive or therapeutic treatment while participating in their events. We use this tape on 60–70 percent of all patients we treat.
We can look at each part of the body, such as the neck, mid back, low back, knees, or feet, as independent parts. Each area of the body, which in total makes up our kinetic chain, has a regional center of gravity. When we put them all together, as in our full body in real life, we can now locate our body’s global center of gravity.
In order to properly prescribe rehabilitation (rehab) exercises, we must first have baseline measurements. These can only be gained with a complete exam and x-rays. In some cases, an MRI may also be needed. These tests show us where restrictions in the body lie, where centers of gravity are off center, where wear and tear sites are, and where disc injuries occur. The tests also show other biomechanical findings that can be treated.
Spinal Decompression. This high tech equipment is designed to aid the spine and discs. Decompression is highly successful in dealing with herniated discs, bulging discs, protruding discs, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome, and many other spinal conditions. In essence, it supports the natural healing process of the body and reverses the disease or injury process that has resulted from a lack of biomechanical awareness. Once healed, the patient will hopefully incorporate improved habits to preserve this improvement.
Vibration plate. This system vibrates at a rate of 30–50 vibrations per second and produces an imbalanced foundation that forces the nervous and the muscular systems to react with every vibration. This accelerates the body’s reeducation process. Specific exercises are designed for each patient to address strength issues, flexibility issues and stabilization issues. This is also called acceleration training, as muscle fatigue and reeducation occur much quicker with this technology.
Tri-Flex. This piece of equipment allows for mirror image and resistance exercises. If a patient has a forward leaning neck, this system allows him to perform specific exercises that are determined by the imbalances found both on the x-ray and in the exam. The goal is improved biomechanics and centers of gravity.
Anyone interested in preserving his biomechanical structure would do well to learn what regional and global rehab exercises would be appropriate for him, and then make those exercises part of his daily or weekly routine. This is a proactive approach to good health. It will also reduce the cost of healthcare per person.