Physical Therapy and Rehab in St. Louis

Develop resiliency by using the best exercises to get stronger and improve balance & agility.

Physical Therapy and Rehab in St. Louis

What is rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation involves stretching and strengthening critical regions of the body with the intent of overcoming or managing a musculoskeletal injury. When joints don't move correctly, they interfere with body movements in other areas. When joints and tendons aren't strong enough, they wear down quickly, increasing pain and risks of injuries.

What is functional rehabilitation?

Functional rehabilitation is a new spin on rehab closely tied to sports performance. It's considered to be more dynamic and specific to the person receiving therapy. The idea is that there is an overlap between exercises that allow elite athletes to perform their best and activities that help people move and feel their best.

The word functional in athletics means to focus on high-quality whole-body movements specific to a sport rather than isolating single muscles for strength, such as bodybuilding. It emphasizes balance, coordination, and body awareness. In rehabilitation, functional means prioritizing individual factors such as posture, alignment, muscle imbalances, and biomechanics.

Traditional therapies tended to focus primarily on the diagnosis and treating the exact site of the damage. This new rehab style aims to figure out how the breakdown occurred in the first place.

Difference between rehabilitation and physical therapy

Physical therapy implies that a physical therapist is performing the rehabilitation. Traditionally, physical therapists were the sole providers for managing and treating injuries. However, chiropractors, personal trainers, and yoga instructors have become excellent options for managing pain and enhancing movement in recent years.

Dr. Craig Liebenson, a leader in sports medicine and author of Rehabilitation of The Spine, says; rehabilitation is exercising in the presence of an injury. He believes that top-tier personal trainers are an excellent option for rehabilitation. One complaint he has with traditional physical therapy is that it does not go far enough to enhance strength and improve resilience.

Chiropractic vs. physical therapy

In the traditional sense, chiropractors primarily provided chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapists gave exercises. As research has advanced with new understandings of evidence-based care, these two professions have begun to overlap. For example, many physical therapists now offer hands-on therapies. More forward-thinking chiropractors have become leaders in rehabilitation and sports medicine.

The best chiropractors and physical therapists share similar philosophies and give individualized care in the patient's best interest. However, as in all professions, there are still many chiropractors and physical therapists who are not integrative and do not appreciate a holistic approach.

Rather than asking the question, which is better between chiropractors and physical therapists? It is more valuable to consider the provider's experience, philosophy, and treatment approach.

Choosing the best chiropractor or physical therapist

Chiropractors and physical therapists are both excellent options for treating and managing neck pain, back pain, disc bulges, shoulder pain, hip pain, etc. When deciding, try to find a therapy office equipped to handle your specific condition. For example, if you have a disc bulge or degenerative disc disease, the option of spinal decompression would be beneficial.

Next, be sure to search for a facility that offers some form of myofascial release, spinal manipulations, and a strong emphasis on rehabilitation. Being certified or familiar with Mechanical Diagnosis Therapy, Neurodynamics, and acupuncture are additional recommended qualifications.

Finding a chiropractor or physical therapist that offers several therapies is essential because the best results occur when several treatments are combined. Also, therapists limited to only 1-2 treatment options tend not to see the whole picture. Instead, they apply the same therapy to everyone regardless of the condition. Diversity is vital to receiving the highest quality care. 

Chiropractor that does rehabilitation

Dr. O'Guin has taught rehabilitation, myofascial techniques, and advanced biomechanics at Logan University. He and his team utilize leading techniques to relieve pain and promote healing. Our manual therapies are used with the intent to restore posture and alignment as well as reflexively enhance muscle activations and movements. 

Most importantly, we meet each client at their current level of ability. A frequent frustration with traditional physical therapy is that the exercises can be too easy or challenging. It can be too easy if a patient is being encouraged to do basic isolation exercises and they're an athlete who has a specific movement issue. Physical therapy can be discouraging if someone has a particular muscle that is the weakest link and they're being taught advanced movement-based exercises.

Our chiropractors break the rehabilitation process up into phases. First, we consider the injured tissue and discover individualized movements to either protect it or strengthen it, depending on the situation. Second, we find and treat all joint or soft tissue restrictions. If there is a kink in the spine or fascia, it can negatively impact movements elsewhere.

Third, we check and work on improving core stability. The 'Core' is our center of gravity and foundation for all other movements. If advanced exercises are attempted before a baseline level of core stability is achieved, there will be delays in progress.

Next, we evaluate and enhance movement patterns and coordination. This step involves learning how to move the entire body most efficiently. Having good balance and fluid movements is necessary to protect joints as strength. Therapists who only focus on planks and bridges are missing a significant rehab component.

The gift of Injury

Our ultimate goal is to promote an empowering mindset. We're aware of the frustrations encountered when overcoming injuries. However, we also understand that injuries can be used as opportunities to discover more about the human body's potential. Many of our clients have recovered from injuries in better shape than ever. They have a deeper appreciation and respect for continuing to become stronger. Once momentum is established, movement is medicine, and exercise is the fountain of youth.

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Begin Your Healing Experience Today

Whether you're a new patient looking for answers and solutions to a complicated condition, or just need a chiropractic adjustment, our office can help. Our chiropractors can help no matter if you are recovering from an injury or are experiencing chronic back pain or neck pain, so call O'Guin Wellness today!

We specialize in leading, non-invasive therapies that restore alignment, enhance movement, and promote healing.