In my previous blog post I explained the science behind musculoskeletal pain and how Redcord is my secret weapon to overcome it. Today, I’m going to discuss one of the most important aspects of suspension based physical therapy: creating a "zero-gravity" environment so that you can move your joints through pain-free ranges of motion.
When it comes to testing and treating clients on the Redcord suspension system, I have to say that I’ve never been more confident having the tools necessary at my disposal to help restore someone’s mobility and function through deep muscle activation.
There are a few essential tools to have in your PT toolbox. Most important to me is “bungee” assistance. Off-loading one's body with a sling around the pelvis can feel as good as any hands-on technique. Plus, when done right, it can have a greater impact on your long-term recovery than a massage or joint mobilization.
I always say that the bungee assistance feels like a hug or supportive back brace. It makes you feel protected. These feelings help prepare the mind and body for exercise. Clients often tell me that it is the first time they haven’t felt pain in days, weeks or even months. This alone puts their neuromuscular system at ease so they can exercise with a clear and focused mind.
In my opinion, creating a pain-free setting is one of the first and most vital steps in returning someone’s neuromuscular mojo and confidence. The bungee assistance gives them control of how their body moves in space. It feels similar to floating on water. In fact, many people describe Redcord as aquatic therapy on land. It’s sort of like a combination of aquatic therapy, TRX and Pilates.
When injured, it’s vital to regain balance between the local (inner) muscles and global (outer) muscles in order to restore pain-free functional mobility of the joints. The Redcord suspension system speeds up this process. It helps guide them through each precise movement with the right amount of effort placed on the right muscles and in the right way.
You can also choose between high threshold and low threshold strategy exercises. When someone is in much pain, I will typically do a gentle neuromuscular “setting” which takes very little muscular effort but a lot of motor control. Or we can choose to do high threshold suspension exercises which engage the whole myofascial chain.
Either way, these strategies should always be done in a totally painless manner. The goal is to disrupt compensating movement patterns. When someone moves around in a pain-free setting, it begins to reverse that feeling of being "broken" or that movement is bad. They will start gaining control and confidence, repetition after repetition.
I find it’s also crucial to give positive feedback to my clients. I retest them after each exercise and point out any improvements in their movement screen. I also celebrate how they transition off the treatment table. Sometimes they don’t even realize that they got up without pain and that their whole body is less guarded. The look on their face is priceless.
To learn more about suspension based physical therapy, click here
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.