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Engaging your Core with Physical Therapy

In my treatment, a new development has arrived; when did things get so complicated? Radhika must watch me walk at least 5 times during any physical therapy session. And why does she watch me stride around? Because physical therapy is an iterative process. As I have stated before, I am 63 and that means I have a whole host of secondary conditions that contribute to my limp. Let’s see there’s stenosis, the Big Toe joint on my right foot that is arthritic and barely flexible, muscle wasting in the R leg due to nerve damage, and, oh yeah, I’m now 63! So, utilizing observation and the scientific method, Radhika comes up with a theory as to why I limp. She then tests that theory by getting me to activate certain muscle groups and observing the impact on my gait.

First, we have the theory, then she tests the theory, and finally analyze the results. And here’s the interesting part. When we do certain exercises (i.e., get certain muscles working) my limp reduces or my gait smooth’s out, or my gait gets worse. And over a couple of sessions, it becomes apparent that the answer to eliminating my limp has many different components. All of them contribute to the problem. One of the primary contributors to my problem (a very common issue) is a lack of core activation. And guess what, activating your core muscles is a lot more subtle than you might imagine. It is a lot more than just tensing your stomach muscles. Next blog will be talking about the mysterious core and trying to answer the question, “What in the world am I doing wrong?”.

Stop by and have Radhika assess you as well, I highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading.

-Gary Barton


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