Educational Steps for Rehabilitation and Fitness/Athletics: The Three R’s

Posted: September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized
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I have recently discovered more sound education in regards to musculoskeletal problems. Of course, I am not a Physiotherapist but just a a student who wishes to be in the future.  But since I have seen so many healthcare professionals for treatment, it has reinforced my understanding of the three R’s (Reset, Reinforce, and Reload) from the Functional Movement Systems concept. Personal experience is as we all know the greatest back-up in whatever we want to preach. Here goes my attempt from my perspective.

The three R’s can be applied to two broad settings, rehabilitation and Fitness.

Rehabilitation (dysfunction along with pain):

Reset is pretty straight forward and it means we must restart our once innate neuromuscular motor control system or simply (movement) by using release/reset techniques to “free” up our body holistically or wherever the source of the problem arises. This could be done by seeing an RMT, Acupuncturist, PT, Chriopractor, etc. But I realized that the order is important for optimal recovery! For example, if somebody had chronic pain for 5-10 years or more, they should seek healthcare professionals in this order. First, see an RMT, Acupuncturist, Chiropractor, Dry needling specialist, or somebody who does deep tissue work or manipulation etc. Of course you can try resetting things yourself by using apparatuses such as a foam roller, tennis ball, golf ball, lacrosse ball, dowel, etc, but these methods will obviously not be as good as seeking a professional. Second, seeing a professional who can provide you advice on how to “support” your issue will be the next step. This is called reinforcement and can range from an orthotic insert to protective braces etc. This could be a Pedorthist, Podiatrist, Sports Medicine Specialist etc. Third is reloading. With all the work done in the first 2 steps, it is time to start moving/exercising with respectable load. The best professionals for this would be a movement expert or Physiotherapist who has knowledge in how mobility, stability, and motor control etc play part in holistic recovery.

Fitness (Can have dysfunction but not necessarily debilitating pain or pain at all):

Resetting for fitness goals is a little bit different from rehabilitation because there is usually no debilitating pain. Often with some guidance on how to use good technique to release/mobilize your body (tissues) you will be able to get back into your routine. You could use a foam roller, dowel, or various sizes of balls as mentioned above, to do this. Of course, seeing a professional will speed up the process or get into areas that you do not know how. Reinforcing for fitness is in my opinion to move properly and functionally with good form. It does not have to be perfect but it has to be stable each and every time. Reloading is when you have addressed the first 2 steps and now feel more confident and less restricted you can attempt to challenge respectable loads once again. This way your fitness goals and gains will be more effective and efficient.

A few more notes from personal experience:

A dynamic mobility stretch is often better than a stationary dynamic and static stretch.

Rolling the bottom of your feet depends on your problem. In my now more informed opinion, rolling with a dowel or rod is more effective if you want to “re-balance” unstable feet. A ball is more for pinpoint “tightness/stiffness” but often the issue will have caused more problems in other areas due to compensation. The technique to rolling must be slow and controlled for reducing irritation to our tissues and allow our nervous system to relax thus relaxing our tissues.

Mechanoreceptors also play a role in our proprioception to help us adapt and regain unique individual “sensations.”

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