I am sometimes told that there are practitioners that do a similar style of treatment as I do because they incorporate exercise and using resistance bands or tubes. I feel that this does not present a complete understanding of what has to be known about exercise and the importance of providing the correct resistance to resolve the cause of pain. To me, this is the equivalent of saying a house painter and Michelangelo are the same because they both use paint. If you want to resolve your pain these are some key things that must be understood about the way to go about it. Here are three keys to performing the right exercise.
1- Knowing the right tissue creating the symptoms and if muscle, knowing the specific muscles needed to be strengthened.
Doing exercise for the sake of doing exercise is a flawed premise when trying to resolve pain. Getting the right diagnosis is where everything has to start. The Yass Method is the only method I am aware that provides the method to identify all potential causes of tissue. If you are being told that the cause of your pain is arthritis, a herniated disc, stenosis, a pinched nerve, a mensical tear, a labral tear, bursitis or any of the multitude of structural variations found by MRIs or x-rays and then are instructed to perform any type of stretching or strengthening exercises, I truly don’t have a clue what that means. If in fact the cause was one of these structural variations which it is not in more than 90% of cases, the only thing that could resolve these causes would be surgery. What would stretching or strengthening have to do with changing arthritis or a herniated disc; obviously nothing. So clearly if the cause of your pain is identified simply through a diagnostic test which is an invalid method and you are then instructed to get treatment incorporating exercise, this is clearly a equation for failure. You are getting the wrong diagnosis and then getting generic exercise with no purpose. I would imagine this is the most common set of events that occurs for most people. The mock exercise routine is performed as a way of saying that everything was tried before surgery was the last option.
Using the Yass method to identify the tissue eliciting the symptoms by interpreting the symptoms and performing some basic physical tests most likely identify muscle as the tissue eliciting the symptoms. By performing this type of evaluation an explanation of which muscle/s is eliciting the symptoms can be derived along with an explanation of why this muscle has strained to the point of eliciting the symptoms including which other muscles are weakened or imbalanced requiring strengthening. At this point a very specific exercise protocol can be developed. Not generalized and more important, the exercises being performed are purposeful; each designed to address a specific muscle.
2-Knowing how to perform the correct form for each exercise to maximize the benefit of the exercise.
Once we know the very specific muscles that need to be strengthened for each individual case, we can then proceed to perform the required exercises. This is where a very adept understanding of exercise must be available. The goal of the exercises must be to cause the muscle that is to be strengthened to be put in the best position so that by performing the exercise, the selected muscle is the one that performs the exercise with maximal force. This means that all other muscles should be relaxed so all energy goes toward the strengthening of the chosen muscle. To do so, i usually have the person strengthening in a seated position on a stable chair. this eliminates any need for balance and exerting energy outside of moving the resistance. In cases, where standing is required, i have the person hold onto the back of a stable chair using both hands to help limit balance as a factor in performing the exercises. Knowing how to isolate muscles by doing the right exercises is another key. Doing a squat does not isolate the gluteus medius muscle (a muscle that sits above the joint responsible for balance). Doing hip abduction does. That is the movement that the muscle creates and therefore the best way to isolate the muscle. And for God’s sakes don’t go to any practitioner that has you place a ball between your knees and has you squeeze your legs together. This is insanity. This is an exercise that strengthens the groin muscles. There is no reason to want to strengthen the groin muscles in addressing pain or improving function. The groin muscles are already massively stronger than the hip abductor muscles (the muscles that pull the legs away from the midline). Strengthening of the groin muscles only reinforces the imbalance further. It causes you to stand or walk with your feet closer together than with your feet under your hips which is the proper location. This prevents the skeleton of the legs from supporting your body weight making muscles overwork and strain as well as shrinking your base of support making your more susceptible to falling. Again, doing only the specific exercises for the specific muscles required is the only true way to resolve your pain and improve function if the cause is muscular.
3-Understanding the value of resistance.
This is the clincher for me as to what separates the Yass Method from those who use some form of exercise as a more general premise. Resistance is what is going to resolve your pain and return you to improved function, not the exercises. If you take the core principal of the Yass method which is that the symptoms being experienced and the limitation in function is caused by strained muscles then this would mean that the muscles strained because all the muscles required to perform the activities were not strong enough and therefore strained. This means that the muscles must be made strong which leads you to the core theory of how to make muscles stronger which is that a muscle must be made to adapt to greater and greater resistances. This causes the muscle to get stronger and make more mass. Once stronger it gets incorporated back into the functional tasks and does not strain. So if you are getting a piece of paper with some exercises on it and there is no discussion about using resistance or if resistance is provided how to increase the resistance, the performing of the exercises is feudal. This must include an understanding of to use the resistance mechanism correctly, how many repetitions to perform to maximize the benefit of the resistance, how long to wait in between each set of exercise to give the body enough to rest to maximize the use of the resistance and how many times a week to allow the body to heal from the use of the resistance.
Without all of the keys being incorporated into the exercises being performed to resolve symptoms and return a person to full functional capacity, the exercises will be of little to no value and resultant will not be achieved. All of this understanding is necessary to achieve these goals in the shortest period of time. You can find this all by using the Yass Method.