Holistic care of your aches and pains not only means getting regularly adjusted, or paying attention to the types of foods you are putting into your body but also learning how to move better so that re-injury does not occur. Ultimately, my job is to teach you how to move and stabilize better so that your need for an adjustment or massage therapy decreases over time.
One such exercise or “movement pattern” that helps to alleviate symptoms comes from one of the normal developmental milestones that every infant reaches by approximately 12 months old, and that is an exercise that everyone is familiar with, but may not completely understand, or may be apprehensive to perform…the Squat.
Regardless of age or supposed ability, every one ought to be able to perform some aspect of the squat…as long as it is performed well. So what are the keys to performing a good squat:
- Feet are more than shoulder’s width apart and slightly turned out
- Knees track outward as you lower to the floor…the knees NEVER go in
- Knees stay over the feet…they NEVER move “in front of” their feet
- The squat begins with “sitting back” with your buttocks, through the hips…it does NOT begin with bending the knees…sit back and STAY sitting back as you lower to the ground
- The depth of the squat should begin with what you are comfortable with…typically you should lower to a point where your thigh is parallel to the floor
- At the bottom of the squat, your eyes should be looking at a spot on the floor a couple feet in front of you…your eyes should NOT be looking “up” or “straight ahead” at the bottom of your squat
Remember, if you follow my guidelines for the squat, then everyone ought to be able to perform the squat as a dynamic warm-up and exercise on a daily basis. However, if your symptoms worsen (or new symptoms are produced) as a result of performing the squat, then please stop doing them and consider contacting us for an assessment.
Dr. Bill Tortoriello