1) Motion is Lotion: My favorite but not a Dr. Jesse original. Outside of the obvious cardiovascular and mood-elevating benefits of exercise, the only way your joint cartilage and spinal disks stay healthy is by moving. Think arthritis and disc degeneration prevention. Movement of joints sloshes around the juice (synovial fluid) inside the joint and bathes the cartilage. Your spinal disks “drink” nutrition from the adjacent vertebrae when you move.
2) Use It or Lose It: It’s Wolf’s Law. Your body responds to stress. Muscles grow stronger, better tuned and toned, your tendons and ligaments grow more resilient and resistant to strain, your bones grow stronger – all in the lines of movement that you do. Joints and fascia get stiff when immobilized and these don’t automatically loosen up again. Maintain motion otherwise you’ll lose it.
3) Maintain the Gain: Have you been to a health professional who did work on you, but then you didn’t do anything after to support change – or “maintain the gain”? Why get your spine adjusted for 6 months, but not do anything in the meantime to keep alignment? PTs are the only professionals who’s scope of practice includes joint and soft tissue manipulation, therapeutic exercise, and thorough education about the whats and whys.
4) Proximal Stability for Distal Mobility: big words here. It means that the parts of your body further from the center (extremities, head/neck, hands, knees, feet) need a strong central support system otherwise things will break down. Think a tree in the forest with a rotten center. “Core” is another term you may have heard. Your PT can show you fun ways to create a stable base.
5) Empathy Without Apology: We joke that PT stands for “pain and torture”. No, PT doesn’t always hurt. But sometimes it’s uncomfortable. Your PT will usually work on the areas of your body that are sore. We don’t necessarily like that we can make our patients squirm, but we probably won’t ignore those areas either. Is that empathy without apology?
Dr. Jesse Roles is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and owner of RiNo Physical Therapy, Inc. www.rinopt.com