How Our System Works
Chronic injuries and pain will never resolve when the aggravations to your problem keep outweighing the solutions to your problem. Simply put, if the bad habits that keep irritating your condition always outpace your body's healing mechanism, you will never give your injury a real chance to heal.
In other words: It is impossible for a wound to heal if you keep "picking the scab".
Healing, and getting yourself back into being physical again without re-injuring yourself, depends on removing physical, neurological and nutritional aggravations, while simultaneously improving the stimulus to heal through a careful and gradual approach.
If you have read our introduction, you know that physical deconditioning and the repetitive micro-stress of poor posture and movement habits (dysfunctional body mechanics) are at the "root" of most ongoing musculo-skeletal pains and injuries. This is usually complicated by an abnormal heightened function of the nervous system which becomes more sensitive to pain, thus decreasing movement of the injured area, and creating compensatory movements without proper joint stability.
Even if a person stays active, the injury-induced movement and stability compensations result in a slow deconditioning (out of shape) effect on the injured site. This causes decreased local circulation, and inadequate nutrient delivery to the area, and more reflexive tightening (guarding) of the site. Without proper movement and joint stability, more scar tissue, weakness, and damaging stress develop.
Without learning to correct the abnormal body mechanics that either caused the injury in the first place, or have replaced normal mechanics as a compensation, the body' healing process can never outpace the aggravating mechanical insults that traumatize the injury on a daily basis.
Early in his clinical chiropractic orthopedic practice, Dr. Remy realized that most of his patient's injuries and pains were based on this principle. While soft tissue and manipulative therapy could easily relieve pain and assist in the healing process, patients often returned with aggravations or new injuries based on the same underlying root causes. It wasn't until these underlying causes of musculo-skeletal stress were corrected, that true lasting relief and full healing occurred.
Dr. Remy's collection of techniques, exercises, and training protocols evolved over several years to eventually form his Posturcise ® Corrective Exercise System. This is the basis for all of the Pain Free and Fit TM Healing Exercise Programs, as well as his Personal Training and Online Workouts.
The system is designed to assist your own body's healing response by correcting the various soft tissue stresses that result from abnormal posture/alignment and poor body mechanics. Joint stability and proper mechanics are first corrected based on an individual analysis of your body posture and mechanics. By combining correction of body imbalances with a gradual physical conditioning program, the body's healing response is properly supported. Instead of strengthening dysfunction, which is common in most physical fitness endeavors, proper function is strengthened and conditioned. As a result, the injured soft tissues are no longer traumatized by these underlying root causes of injury, and can finally take full advantage of the body's own healing processes.
The progression of the exercises is crucial for a successful outcome. The Posturcise ® and Pain Free & Fit TM systems follow a Fitts model of motor learning. This begins with learning local corrections in the area of pain and global corrections that can also affect the abnormal stresses that are applied to the injured area. This is followed by exercises that strengthen and coordinate proper function, and continues with a progressive conditioning program emphasizing the balance, flexibility, strength, endurance and power needed to utilize these corrections in the real life demands of the client. This progresses to a full-body fitness routine that addresses all of the facets of physical conditioning, tailored to the client's specific needs and desires. Lastly, the program advances to reflexive training which aims to condition proper automatic corrections when the client doesn't have time to think about corrections (slip, fall, etc.), or during fast-paced activites (sports).
Locally, the corrective exercises stimulate healing in several ways. By learning to recruit weak stabilizing muscles, tight and overactive opposing muscles are relaxed and lengthened neurologically through a process known as Sherrington's Law of Reciprocal Inhibition. This results in improved neurologic control of stabilizing muscle function. When the nerves that control muscular activity create normal stability, posture, and movement, previous musculo-skeletal imbalances improve.
Specifically, these healing exercises correct or improve several biomechanical errors such as:
1- Altered force couples (opposing muscular forces acting on a joint to stabilize it during movement)
2- Altered muscle length-tension relationships (overlapping of muscular fibers for proper strength and contraction potential)
3- Arthrokinetic inhibition (neurologic induced weakness of muscles surrounding a tight or misaligned joint)
4- Synergistic dominance (over-stressed smaller muscles which are compensating for weaker and larger prime mover muscles)
5- Altered joint kinematics (joint movement from a geometrical perspective)
6- Decreased elasticity of soft tissues needed for normal movement and force production
7- Altered muscle spindle and golgi tendon organ (GTO) function (sensory organs in muscles and tendons which monitor and correct proper contraction)
8- Decreased neuromuscular efficiency (ability of all the various functions of the neuromuscular system to work together for optimal function)
9- Myofascial trigger points (local areas of muscle tightness which trap metabolic toxins and irritate nerves)
10- Joint dysfunction (abnormal joint flexibility and alignment which cause reflexive dysfunctional sensory, motor and autonomic nerve patterns)
Many of Dr. Remy's programs also include improving nutrition and correcting other components of the "bio-psycho-social" model of chronic pain. This is the contemporary and more comprehensive model that chronic pain specialists use to help patients with chronic pain. It addresses not only the physical, but also the emotional, behavioral, social and self-belief aspects that heighten the nervous system's ability to generate pain and complicate healing.
As a result, the offending mechanical and neurological stressors of injured soft tissues lessen, while local circulation improves. Circulation to damaged tissues is a key element of healing as damaged tissue debris is removed and re-building components are delivered via proper circulation. At the same time, fibrosis decreases while strength and conditioning effects increase. The combination of these factors stimulates and allows the body's healing response to finally repair the damaged soft tissues.
Previous movements which were painful improve, and the "wear and tear" on joints which promote arthritic degeneration lessens. Cartilage and disc imbibition (perfusion of nutrients in and toxins out of these tissues associated with movement) improves, and new neural pathways of correct posture and movement become more facilitated (ingrained). The heightened and dysfunctional state of the nervous system returns to a more normal function. This makes moving less painful, and return to physical activities more likely to occur with less chance of re-injury.
Because more energy is utilized in recruiting weak muscles in the first aspects of training, there is an increased caloric energy expenditure compared to any previous exercise movements. This can be helpful for those clients wishing to burn more calories per unit time of exercise, and can assist in normalizing body fat to muscle mass ratios, and promote the various health benefits associated with decreasing body fat while increasing lean muscle mass. Resting metabolic rate can be enhanced due to this re-distribution of percent fat to muscle which can further assist in weight loss attempts and a healthier lifestyle.