One Big Benefit of Strength

This title is a bit of a misnomer, because there are probably about a hundred or more benefits to additional strength.  That’s the reason I primarily focus on it within my practice.  Over my many years of working with people and improving their situations after injuries and special conditions I’ve seen some pretty cool things.  However, recently I was treated to not only one, but two big examples of improved quality of life and the ability to deal with situations physically.

About a year ago I wrote about the success that one of my clients Randi S had after recovering from severe SI Joint dysfunction to the point that we couldn’t even move her during her initial month of training.  She progressed to the point where she was able to bike for 26 km in the mountains and achieved a big goal.  You can read about it here.

Randi recently experienced more issues starting in February and had some neck and heel issues as well.  After several months of hard work, and even some competent physio work on her as well we were able to get her back up to speed.  For her trip this year, Randi not only biked the full 46km – on a mountain bike (not an upright) which would previously have been unheard of for her back, she did paddleboarding, and even some cave climbing into cramped spaces.  Again, all of these things two years ago would have caused Randi enormous pain and put her into bed for a week.  Today due to being stronger she can do activities that excite and motivate her.  The following week she even tried a spin class and has found a great yoga class.

Randi Paddle

Randi paddleboarding – notice the forward flexion and rotation under force, which with an SI Joint issue is usually quite painful.

One of the great things about my job is when clients get to the point where they don’t need me any more except for advice and maintenance.  It sounds counter-intuitive, but I do believe that once people can do what they want or need to then I’m just a guide after that.

Success Story Number Two comes from Chris J.  Chris came to see me about a year and a half ago due to back trauma from a car accident.  He had worked with another trainer and had physio and seen little progress beyond more irritation.  With a combination of MAT and proper strength work his back has been great for a while.  He has been able to work as a volunteer lifting heavy things and walking a ton without any issues.

About four weeks ago coming home from Bluesfest with his mother in the car, Chris had a car run a red light and hit the car broadside at 60 kilometers an hour.

Everyone was fine, thankfully to airbags.  But the amazing thing to me was that not only was Chris okay, he walked away completely unscathed except for a headache.  His back was basically unaffected with some minor stiffness.  I’d like to think that because he had more strength in his trunk, hips and shoulders that the impact (and think about hitting another object at 60km/h) didn’t cause any severe trauma.  We have taught his system to kick in when it is needed to provide support at a time when it receives stress or load, and that happened in spades when he hit another vehicle.

I was astounded and quite happy to see such an obvious result simply from strength work. Think about applications for people who fall, play sports or simply want to do high impact activities like motorcycle riding.  Being stronger overall helps with many situations and conditions.

Over the years I’ve managed to have an excellent track record when it comes to helping people who have conditions they previously thought were unmanageable.  If you know of anyone who needs help or even just has questions about an injury or special condition feel free to send them to http://www.srottawa.com or to email me at strengthrehabottawa@gmail.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter @strengthottawa.

 

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