Move in the Right Direction

Time to Move in the Right direction.

People know they should exercise but few realize that exercise is the best medicine for costly American diseases such as depression, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and fibromyalgia.  Those of you who already make time for your exercise every day, congratulations!  You’ve cut your risk of suffering from these and other diseases by over 900%.

This blog can help you overcome common injuries and diseases using predominately safe, effective exercise and nutrition.  For example, research and my clinical experience strongly suggests that the most cost-effective treatment for chronic low back pain is consistent exercise, but the exercise must be carefully performed to not aggravate your condition.  Have you tried to exercise but hurt yourself?  If so, you’re not alone; injury is the number one reason people quit exercise programs (ACSM, 2005).  I’m here to help you understand the medical side of exercise and how to maximize benefit in the least amount of time.

Being a physical therapist, author, trainer and former drug-free competitive bodybuilder my advice may strike as unique.  My mission with this blog is consistent with our mission in treating patients in physical therapy: help you find the most effective ways to overcome injuries and diseases (especially the chronic kind).  Coincidentally, the most effective way most often includes a safe exercise program!

Your questions and comments are always appreciated.  Please remember, however, that I lean towards the “personal responsibility” side of managing your health.  In other words, instead of recommending repeated massage for a chronically painful shoulder I will try to help you discover why you have a painful shoulder in the first place (e.g., weak rotator cuff muscles, poor posture).  There’s compelling research that people rely too much on passive treatments (e.g., pharmacological intervention) as opposed to taking an active approach when overcoming health problems, and this is an expensive mindset when it comes to health care costs.  According to RAND 2007, 83 cents of every American health care dollar is lifestyle-related, so a major component to reversing health care costs in America largely depends on us changing our behaviors.  Of course, this behavior change also applies to physicians and other health care providers to help patients use cost-effective methods (i.e., exercise, nutrition, generic drugs, avoiding unnecessary tests) to overcome health problems.

Each blog, I’ll be making specific exercise recommendations related to either a common injury or disease.  My recommendations stem from current research, scientific principles and clinical experience.  The difficult part: implementing my recommendations safely and effectively, because it’s easy to think you’re doing an exercise correctly when in fact you’re in a position that can potentially worsen your condition.  To help you, I’ll provide explanations and pictures demonstrating safe technique.  Lastly, get medical clearance from your doctor before beginning exercise.

Please remit your questions via email.  I look forward to helping you Move in the Right direction!

Colin Hoobler, PT, DPT, MS
colin@chpt.org

 

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