General Strength Training:  Who Should Do This & Why?

As an Osteopath we typically treat and manage clients who are injured and are in acute pain or are wanting to prevent the recurrence of an injury and therefore the pain associated with this.  Typically Osteopaths will see people presenting to the clinic with any number of musculoskeletal injuries, ranging from neck and back pain to sporting injuries and work related aches and pains.  As Osteopaths we are very good at assessing a complaint and determining the cause of the injury and pain.  Once the injury has been deemed suitable for Osteopathic treatment, we will often provide the appropriate hands on manual therapy to help reduce pain and improve movement.  Treatment techniques and strategies can include soft tissue massage, articulation, mobilisation, manipulation, dry needling, taping, stretching and the prescription of stretches and exercises.

The majority of the time, this is a very passive approach to the treatment and management of an injury.  The Osteopath provides hands on treatment to the patient.  Typically once the patient is out of acute pain and the patients movement has returned to normal, we will look to provide some advice on posture, work environments and any other factors that may aggravate or maintain their current condition.  Most patients will then go back to their everyday life until a similar episode occurs and then return.

This is where I believe we as manual therapists need to step up and provide further options for the patient.  For some of us, we do this by providing practical advice and prescription on exercise, referring the client to a personal trainer for some resistance based exercise or to someone who provides clinical pilates.  It is my personal belief that if we give the patient the option and encourage them to undertake additional corrective exercise, then they will be strengthening their body to help prevent further recurrence.

Some of the benefits that Resistance Based Strength Training Provides can include (Source: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Resistance_training_the_health_benefits)

  • Improved muscle strength and tone
  • Weight management
  • Prevention and control of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis
  • Pain management
  • Improved mobility and balance
  • Improved posture
  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Increased bone density and strength
  • Reduced body fat
  • Increased muscle-to-fat ratio
  • Boosted metabolism (burning more kilojoules when at rest)
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Enhanced performance of everyday tasks.

Next time you have an injury and you visit your Osteopath, Physiotherapist or Chiropractor, make sure you ask them about what you can do to help prevent further recurrence.  Rather than just undergo a passive hands on treatment (this will be necessary in many cases initially), once your pain has subsided, your injury is healing, then be sure to ask your practitioner about a more active approach to treatment and management of your complaint.

At Principle Four Osteopathy we have a fully equipped training facility that allows us to take our clients through a general strength training program or corrective exercise program.  It allows us to give advice and correct ones technique, whether it be on stretching, foam rolling and weight lifting.

Osteopath Heath Williams is owner and director of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD 3000 leading Osteopathy clinics.  The clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place, Melbourne City CBD 3000 (near the corner of Little Bourke & Elizabeth St)

Principle Four Osteopathy is open Monday – Fridays, with both early and late appointments available. Appointments can be made by calling 03 9670 9290 or booking online @ www.principlefourosteopathy.com

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