Corrective Exercise Full Body Functional Considerations

September 13th, 2021

Looking beyond the primary movement in a corrective exercise offers tremendous opportunities and insight into ways that we can influence our clients’ global movement needs. Here, I use an example of a familiar corrective exercise for the shoulder girdle and apply our Levels A-D strategy to demonstrate the different considerations when selecting a working posture/position.

It is common to focus on a joint or body segment only, when choosing corrective exercises for your client. Disregarding the implications (positive and negative) of the posture or position from where the exercise is initiated, means that we are not recognizing the integrated, functional biomechanics involved.

Corrective Exercise Sitting Leg Extensions for Lumbar Stability

April 14th, 2021

Don’t be fooled. This exercise has nothing to do with strengthening the quads or the provocative slump test for neural tension. Both of those exercise look similar at first glance, but the nuances of this exercise give it a completely different objective.

Sitting Leg Extensions is an incredibly effective exercise to introduce a lumbar stability strategy that does not involved bracing or conventional core work.

The goal is not terminal knee extension. The goal is to generate enough internal tension from above and below the lower back, that the tensegrity forces help to de-rotate and stabilize the lumbo-sacral-region.

This is a self limiting exercise, meaning that the breakdown of the form and execution will be a result of the individual’s own internal force generation.

Give this one a try and let us know what you think.

Foam Rolling for Lower Back Pain

March 12th, 2021

For as long as foam rolling has been around, it still seems that people are doing 90% of the same areas of the body and with the same moves. Having had the good fortune to speak on many of the facets around the myofascial component, I’ve both seen and explored many interventions directed toward myofascial mobility. Since most people have or have access to a foam roller, I’d like to share this very effective application for the lower back that you may have never tried.

When I have participants experience this self-myofascial release application at a presentation, the “oohs” and “ahhs” fill the room. That’s because they are exploring a stimulus to

    this tissue that is brand new to them.

    This particular application does have some nuances and precautions, so be sure to watch the entire video.

    Leave your questions and comments below.

Lower Back Pain Relief

March 5th, 2021

This non-technical video is directed toward our clients and readers of The Pain-Free Program or anyone else looking for an accurate way to perform this familiar, lower back exercise exercise. Anthony gives you the nuances with the execution and the “why” behind the value (hint: It is probably not why you think it helps).

Anthony also suggests the best place to add to an existing lower back pain care exercise program.

Corrective Exercise Frontal Plane Samurai Lunge

February 11th, 2021

We have one of our Level D correctives from the PFMS library that is part of our educational website. Level D exercises are what I refer to as “top of the foodchain” in the corrective exercise world.

These highly integrated exercises carry extensive value beyond the biomechanical integrations. For some clientele, the Level D is the immediate segue to their more traditional fitness workout. For others, the Level D is an element of a workout itself.

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Functional Purpose:
Improve Frontal/Transverse Plane Spinal Alignment

Biomechanical Outcomes:

• Momentum from desired pelvic list promotes lateral spinal flexion, which is enhanced throughout the vertebral column when torso and righting reflexes resist maintaining a level orientation to the horizon.
• Arm overhead act as an extension of the rib cage, creating a longer lever and greater mass to ensure that all vertebrae contribute to the lateral spinal flexion.
• Maintaining a pure frontal plane motion with thoracic extension counters any rotational tendencies of the torso.
• Slight rotation of the intervertebral joints are coupled with lateral flexion of the spine.
• Lateral trunk musculature on the lengthening side are eccentrically loaded & decelerate mass of the trunk in the side bend, then transition concentrically to return trunk to the vertical.

Neurological | Physiological Outcomes:

• Promotes connective tissue elasticity associated with dynamically loading / stabilizing sagittal, frontal and transverse plane motions of the thorax.
• Increase connective tissue compliance and resiliency through the promotion of tissue extensibility, amplifying the viscoelastic and force closure demand to uphold lumbar spine integrity and stability.
• Extensibility of the lateral hip musculature to allow for and additional hip adduction, flexion and internal rotation.
• Elicit a heightened somatosensory response due to the simultaneous bottom-up (lateral lunge) and top-down (lateral flexion / thoracic rotation) influence.

Psycho | Social Outcomes:

• Establish a multidimensional environment involving the neural-networks associated with managing heightened emotional states (anxiety, hyperviligence, etc) during the execution of a complex, autonomic motor task.

Modifications:
• Begin pre-positioned w/ both hips abducted, greatly reducing ground reaction forces.
• Remove ipsi-lateral glenohumeral abduction.

Contraindications:
• Subacromial impingement syndrome.
• Inability to control multi-segmental deceleration of descending body weight.

Core-Tex Sit and Lower Back Pain

January 20th, 2021

Hi, this is Anthony Carey. For almost 30 years my professional mission has been to help those in chronic pain through strategic exercise and empowering knowledge around the pain experience.

As part of my journey, I started another company that produces exercise equipment based on our body’s need for variability in our environments. In other words, there is not enough variety in our movements, especially during the work ours.

Therefore, I have developed our second product that is geared toward both helping those with lower back, hip and pelvic floor issues AND making all the time that we spend sitting, more productive.

You can learn more about Core-Tex Sit at https://coretexfitness.com/products/core-tex-sit

Don’t be an Abercrombie & Fitch Trainer

January 7th, 2021

Back in the day, I considered myself a pretty “with it” kind of guy. I was up to date on music, fashion trends, etc. Keep in mind this was pre social media days and dial up internet, so you got your style through TV, magazines, clothing stores and social interactions. Living in Southern California and single at the time, there seemed to be an ever-present pressure to dress the part.

In those days I spent exponentially more time shopping for clothes then I do now. We would walk the malls or the trendy stores in Pacific Beach or downtown. One of those mall stores that is still around today is Abercrombie and Fitch. A store with the latest styles, hip décor and sales people as beautiful as the models in their ads.
Abercromie & Fitch models
Do you know how much money I have spent at Abercrombie & Fitch throughout my life? Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Is it because I didn’t like their clothes? Or because their clothes are too expensive? The answer is “no” to both. I did like some of their clothes and I did spend time in their stores until I didn’t.

After a few visits to more than one branch of their stores, I could not get past the genetically gifted salesperson in their early 20’s, still living with their parents, barely making above minimum wage, treating me like one of the Beverly Hillbillies walking into Tiffany’s.

Their arrogance, air of superiority and lack of interest in serving was palpable. This was their show, and I was fortunate to be granted an audience.

If you are a trainer, coach, therapist, chiropractor, etc., you may be communicating what those salespeople did, and you do not even know you are doing it. Especially if you yourself are fit, or attractive, or without pain or limitations, have a graduate degree, etc., you may be communicating signals of arrogance or superiority or even doubt when they describe why they have not achieved their health goals.

Especially at this time of the year, people are motivated for positive change. And although the numbers related to those that drop off are consistent every year, there may be a need for us to take a look in the mirror and ask if we are doing all that we can do. It is abundantly clear in the literature, that success of our clients or patients goes well beyond the mechanics of exercise or therapy.

I have learned a lot about this side of human interaction in our industry from Bobby Cappuccio. Some of you know Bobby from his sections in the PFMS curriculum. I encourage you to follow Bobby and/or check his website because he regularly provides excellent content.

Whether your interactions with clients are virtual or in person, my advice is the same:
1. Be empathetic.
2. Choose your words wisely.
3. Make your desire to serve your client’s needs your priority.
4. Don’t be a d*ck.

Anthony Carey on the LifeTime Fitness Podcast

December 22nd, 2020

From the show notes:
Join Industry Veteran Anthony Carey and Jason Stella Discuss…
1. Why he has spent the majority of your career working on how to help people decrease their pain.
2. Discuss his PRACTICAL book called: “The Pain-Free Program: A Proven Method to Relieve Back, Neck, Shoulder and Joint Pain.
3. WHAT have you found to be the best ways to help, staying within the scope of being a trainer?
4. Explain the following concepts in his book
1. The Body’s Interrelatedness
2. Our Self-Healing Bodies
3. The need to take responsibility
4. Anthony’s unique way of putting exercises is specific groups called Form & Category
– What’s the differences between them
– Show some of the exercises within each area and how they may be able to help specific people?
5. Explain and show your invention, The CORE-TEX.
a. Why and how did you come up with this?
b. Can you show us some of the common ways you use this to help clients improve
3. Explain the course that you put together called the “Pain Free Movement specialist

Corrective Exercise Programming and Readiness

November 30th, 2020

What does readiness mean to you?

When designing the corrective exercise program for the chronic pain client, it means many things.

As you decide on your exercise selection, does a strategic sequence advance your objectives and build your client’s movement confidence?

The readiness in this case is based on many things, but at the top of the list is trust. Trust of their own capabilities without provoking pain.

This is precisely why we have created a framework for corrective exercise progressions.

Enjoy this clip and consider joining us on our mission to help those in pain live more comfortable and productive lives.

The Haunted House Effect, Fear and Chronic Pain

October 30th, 2020


Photos are the property of Nightmares Fear Factory
This is an update from a post originally shared October 2015

The most current science on pain, tells us pain is an experience and not a sensation. Yes, we use words to describe our pain in terms of sensation (stabbing, aching, dull, throbbing, nagging, etc.), but there are many factors that contribute to just exactly how each of us get to the point where this pain is demanding our attention. Associated with this pain event are the many biological, psychological, and social elements that were present before, during and after the “experience”.

Many of you will be familiar by now with the bio-psycho-social paradigm used to better understand the pain experience. This video interview I did will help explain if you are not familiar.

The “Haunted House Effect” is a brilliant metaphor to add insight into our own experience.

We have all heard the saying “frozen with fear”. It is that brief but profound period of time where something is so shocking or terrifying that one cannot move. The body does not respond because the brain is overwhelmed with the danger or threat of danger at hand.

Similarly, consider what happens to your body and you mind the moment you have the fright of your life in a haunted house. The image above is from the web site Nightmares Fear Factory. They are hugely popular images on the internet of visitors caught at a moment in time inside the Nightmares Fear Factory’s haunted house.

If we got a little “sciencey” here and thought about all the things that happen to the body as this photo is taken and for the short time after, we would observe:

 A huge dump of stress hormones entering the blood stream (adrenaline, cortisol)
 The heart rate and blood pressure spike
 Blood vessels dilate
 Pupils dilate
 Breathing gets rapid and shallow
 Muscles all around the joints contract and stiffen the body
 Posture instinctively goes into a flexed protection mode
 Ensuing movement is guarded and apprehensive
 Language to express the experience are dramatic and emotionally charged

I purposely used boxes in the list above because I want you to think of “ticking the boxes”. In the haunted house examples, these are boxes that are “ticked” when an extreme scare has occurred. Now let us imagine these events happened within the first 5 minutes of a scheduled 30-minute tour through the haunted house. They still have 25 more minutes to take part in an experience where the tone has been clearly established as frighteningly intense.

So, what happens when they approach that next corner that they cannot see past? Are they relaxed and at ease? Absolutely not! Their body will reproduce the identical events it did from the first scare. Except all those responses will happen before they even get to the corner.

As they cautiously approach the blind corner, and their body is in full anticipation mode-anticipation of the next blood curling scare-they turn the corner to see a unicorn and rainbows.

No threat exists at this corner. Yet their body and mind went through all the same events as if the next big scare actually took place. That pattern continues through the remainder of the tour with each anticipation of the scares almost as physically and mentally real as a scare itself.

The source (which we cannot see) that created those responses in the photos is not the only part of that scare experience. Although likely not as obvious to those in the photos, the entire experience includes the people they are with, the smell of the room, the temperature of the room, the sounds and even how their clothes fit. And as the remainder of the tour continues, they all become part of the biological, psychological, and social contribution to that experience.

Now consider this scenario. After the first scare event, the participants get to put on full body armor and carry a 4-foot taser wand that can keep anyone or anything at least 4 feet away. Do you think this would increase their confidence and decrease the threat as they approached the ensuing corners? I would suggest it does make them safer and more confident. Perhaps they will have some fear, but not nearly as intense now that they have these protective “tools”.

So, what has this got to do with someone dealing with chronic pain? The scenarios can be almost identical except replace “scare” with “pain”. Let us say for example that after a long flight you felt a pop in your back as you lowered your carryon from the overhead bin. You begin to feel your back tighten up and you experience the pain ramping up as you exit the plane. Beginning with the “pop” you felt, you would begin to experience those same 7 traits listed earlier. And whether you realized it or not, the physical pain itself is not the only part of the experience. The people you are with, the smell of the airplane and then the terminal, the temperature, the sounds and even how your clothes fit all become part of the biological, psychological and social contribution to that pain experience.

These combined elements begin to form a neuro signature or neuro representation in your brain. Over the next couple of days as you are recovering from this episode, you experience those 9 traits (boxes to tick) any time you anticipate potential threat to your back. This could be something as familiar as putting on your socks. Some movements may in fact provoke pain, but others may not. Yet the net result is remarkably similar in terms of your physiological and mental response.

You can clearly see how patterns emerge that are counterproductive to your long-term goals. And the reality of this is that we can’t, and you can’t explain your way through process. Yes, you need an understanding, but your body and brain also need proof. This is where a strategic and structured corrective exercise plan can create the movement confidence you need to no longer anticipate a threat when the threat is not valid. The proper, strategic exercise program for you becomes your full body armor and 4-foot laser wand.

Pain is an extraordinarily complex experience for everyone. And many people will attempt to chase one aspect or another of their pain. The science now tells us that we must look at the entire bio-pyscho-social context from which chronic pain is experienced.

Don’t live your life waiting for the next ghost or goblin around the corner. Suit up, educate yourself and show your brain that you are not broken.

Happy Halloween!