The right kind of support matters!
As a young child, I recall hearing the story of the wise man who built his house upon a rock and the comparison to the foolish man who built his house upon sand.
Jesus related how the stresses of the world caused the house built on sand to collapse, while the house on the rock stood firm (Matthew 7, 24-27).
The moral was there are good & bad foundations to build both our houses and our lives on. The right kind of support matters!
A Journey of Discovery
In that spirit, I have been tremendously blessed with wonderful parents and an amazing beautiful woman who has agreed to be my wife. In my journey as a health care provider, I’ve always been continuously curious and interested in discovering and addressing unmet needs of the individuals I’ve been privileged to evaluate and treat.
This is the key to success in adding value to humanity with health care. For a given individual, it’s vital to consider what kind of mental, physical and spiritual foundation they have to best help them solidify and improve their functioning.
Warren Buffett is an example of an American who has experienced astonishing financial success. When asked what he attributed this to, he surprised many by giving primary credit to the love and support he had received from his parents (www.warrenbuffet.com).
Family emotional and caring support matters! This also is a significant factor in rehabilitation success, as are other types of support and foundational tools.
One Size Does NOT Fit All!
Although I don’t have Mr. Buffet’s financial success, my outcomes quite frequently are commendable as a doctor of physical therapy. Many and varied factors must be considered and addressed with skilled individualized physical therapy evaluation and treatments.
Physical therapy ultimately is about getting people optimally moving. However, the reality is many individuals sit extensively and have poor posture and a compromised foundation. The environment they sit in can make a positive or negative difference. Chair support and design frequently needs to be evaluated and modified when it’s not meeting the individual’s needs.
People come in all shapes and sizes; their needs for chair support, comfort and safety also vary. Poor postural support can lead to muscle imbalances, joint impairments, as well as weakness and pain.
Chairs which are too low can make it increasingly difficult for older individuals to rise up (J American Geriatric Soc 1996 April). Seats typically are made for the masses and most don’t meet individual support needs.
Like shoes, one size doesn’t fit all. Like old shoes, cushioned seats lose their ability to provide good support with age & use.
Movement As Medicine
Our bodies are designed for movement and we need to frequently adaptively move to maintain health and vitality. With aging, too many people sit extensively in wheelchairs. Consider most wheelchairs are designed for portability & provide very poor trunk support.
As a general rule, the best thing to do is to minimize static sitting and move frequently as long as it is safe to do so. Prolonged and/or unsupported sitting leads to restrictive tightness, weakness, pain, instability and fear of movement.
A doctor of physical therapy is tasked with determining what are the best tools to help break cycles of instability, weakness and pain. Besides manual therapy and therapeutic exercises, additional tools are available.
One innovation is the patented Backsmith Selective Stabilization Support™. This functional exercise device provides unique dynamic concentrated trunk support often greatly improving pain, posture, strength, and exercise tolerance. Functional mobility typically improves with only a few minutes of usage.
The right strategic support at the right level can make a huge difference, often only requiring use periodically.
So how can you function better? Physical health care professionals can help. The right kind of support matters!