Maintaining Mobility During Isolation
Stress exacerbates pain.
This is a simple truth and isn’t exactly an epiphany to most healthcare practitioners. With the current pandemic crisis, this has become more relevant now more than ever. Everywhere we turn there is another announcement or pandemic response, a commentary on self-isolation or social distancing, and someone, somewhere, looking to sell us a magic cure.
It’s an onslaught.
I’m an EDS patient, without regular mobility, resistance, and acceleration/deceleration training my pain has this nasty habit of becoming maddening. Over the years I have found that “movement snacks” can be an incredibly effective intervention. The following are general examples of novel movement; just about every movement demonstrated is scalable, and can be modified to suit your needs in terms of your own capacity.
*Please note, my form isn’t perfect, nor is it meant to be. I’m not trying to focus on a perfect repetition so much as a movement that feels good for me.
I don’t think I need to state the prevalence of lower back and sacroiliac pain we see in our clinics day to day. Whether you’re working in a relaxing spa environment or with elite athletes in a competitive setting, lower back pain is practically ubiquitous. The effects of daily stress on low back pain are well documented, and regular movement is one of the best ways we can try to manage that. I’ve found hip girdle based exercises incredibly helpful for this.
The following link begins with some femoroacetabular movement and gradually grows from there to greater complexity and difficulty:
As an RMT I was taught that stretching the pectoral muscles is the panacea to shoulder and neck pain. Pec stretches do it all: Headaches? Pec stretches. Whiplash? Pec stretches. TMJD? Oh, you’d better believe that’s a pec stretch.
And they can help, but really stretching is only a very small piece of the puzzle.
For my own rehab, overhead range of motion has always been much more helpful, as well as addressing ongoing issues with thoracic outlet syndrome and management of chronic dislocations. End range exploration and competence is key.
The following link features scapulo-costal movement, glenohumeral movement, resistance, and coordination to tie it all together:
Spine and Trunk
Strengthen your core.
What does that even mean? Strengthen it to do what? What structures are we targeting? What directions of movement? For what task?
Core strengthening is practically ubiquitous and all but meaningless, it’s also myopic.
I’ve found addressing trunk mobility to be a much more effective approach. There is the inclusion of strength of course, but more importantly more aware of safety and resiliency in movement.
The following link opens with some basic control and builds up in terms of simple to complex ranges of motion, and mild to moderate resistance.
These videos are intended as demonstrations of movement exploration only, not interventions for existing pathologies. If you’re uncertain about any movement, consult with a professional.
Chadi C Abdallah, and Paul Geha “Chronic Pain and Chronic Stress: Two Sides of the Same Coin?” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5546756/
Eric Bowman, “Low Back Pain: What Are We Doing Wrong and What Can We Do Better?”
Bronwyn Thompson, PhD, “BACK TO BASICS ABOUT PSYCHOSOCIAL FACTORS IN PAIN”
- Maintaining Mobility During Isolation - May 11, 2020