What the heck is Corrective Exercise?

The short answer is this: Corrective exercises are movements designed to correct imbalances in your body.

Now, the longer explanation:

Nearly everyone has some form of muscular imbalance. If you always shift your weight to one foot while standing, round your shoulders while seated at your desk, sleep on one side, or consistently feel tightness on one area of your body, then you have an imbalance in your posture and movement.

If these muscle imbalances are not corrected, they can lead to chronic problems such as low back pain, neck aches and knee pain. If you are adding load to your body through exercise, your imbalances increase the potential for injury.

A corrective exercise specialist can identify the postural imbalances in your body, and develop a customized program to correct them. Common techniques include self-massage, stretching and strengthening exercises—these can help you regain balance, stability and mobility.

Let’s see an example:

Say your knee hurts. And maybe your low back bothers you every once in a while as well. One reason for this could be a flat foot. Every step you take, your arch flattens against the ground. Because your arch flattens out so much, your ankles and knees turn in too much. This places a ton of stress on the outside the leg, because it is trying desperately to keep your body upright and balanced. When the connective tissue on the outside of the leg (the illiotibial band, or IT band) gets overstressed, it can pull the knee and pelvis out of alignment.

The first step to solving this problem is to use a foam roller to loosen up the IT Band:

1. Lie on your side with your hips stacked and forearm resting on the ground.

2. To decrease pressure, place the top leg in front of the body with the foot on the floor.

3. Roll from the hip to the knee, about 1-2 inches at a time. Stay off your knee joint!

Don’t have a foam roller yet? Use a tennis ball to massage out the tense areas. You’ll

know you are too tight because this won’t be the most comfortable activity in the

world. Just move from each sore spot to the next until tension starts to decrease.

Of course, everyone’s corrective exercise routine is different. Working with a specialist will help you identify the problems—and work on the solutions. In the end, you can avoid injury, resolve pain and prevent future imbalances and discomfort.