An Alternative Approach to Pain Management and Movement Recovery
by: Corey Vanderwouw, MPT
Are you interested in finding an alternative therapy that is covered by your insurance? Physical therapy happens to be a holistic therapy which treats body pain, injury, weaknesses and inability to move in the way you want and need. Physical therapists look at the body through uniquely trained eyes and assess the components involved in healthy body positioning, posture and movement patterns.
Physical therapy is an alternative therapy that has been around for years. It is based in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, and rooted in the study and understanding of all body systems involved in movement. Physical Therapists approach people from a holistic perspective, seeing everyone as an individual with their own personal history, physical characteristics, abilities, preferences and lifestyles.
By assessing an individual’s body position, watching the neuromuscular patterns of movement, and evaluating joints, muscles and other structures, a physical therapist can identify specific areas which may experience too much mechanical stress. A physical therapist also evaluates strength, muscle balance, joint mobility and alignment, range of motion, stability and movement efficiency, while identifying and correcting compensatory movement patterns that a person might have developed. An evaluation may also include assessments and treatment of other systems such as the vestibular system for balance, or specialized areas as needed, such as women’s and men’s pelvic floor health.
Treatments are chosen from a wide variety of techniques that include both well-established manual therapy as well as guided movement techniques, such as neuromuscular training. Manual treatments include soft tissue work, such as releasing scarring or adhesions, and joint mobility techniques to improve the movement of stiff joints. It can also include lesser known techniques such as visceral mobilization and craniosacral therapy, based on the assessed need. Neuromuscular training helps the body to learn to gain stability around unstable joints, to gain balanced strength and flexibility, and to develop healthy movement patterns that you will be able to utilize in daily life, work, recreational activities and sports.
As science and art merge in physical therapy to create non-invasive treatments for pain and movement dysfunctions, receiving clients are often able to experience greater comfort in their bodies, greater fluidity and efficiency of movement, as well as improved physical capabilities, which altogether lead to an improvement in the quality of life.
Corey Vanderwouw, MPT is co-owner of Fit for Life Physical Therapy in Nevada City. She specializes in spinal rehabilitation from adolescent to geriatrics.