I have a client who has had some vertebrae removed. She is in great physical shape but still has back pain, and her sciatic nerve is causing pain down the back of her right leg. I would like to know the appropriate way to help this lady with corrective exercise training regimens.
Thanks for your question. First and foremost, you should a medical clearance from her doctor. If she is cleared to participate in movement (an exercise program), ask him/her to write out contraindications. When you say removed, what was removed? Did they fuse the vertebrae and therefore she has limited mobility is certain regions and too much motion in others? I would get a clear picture of her orthopedic history and look up all the technical words so you clearly understand her medical history (she will greatly appreciate your hard work!). After your review, you will need to assess HER functional threshold. No matter what “issues” a client presents with, they still function at certain level. The key is identifying this level and improving on it. There are no such “corrective exercises” for her complaint, just individualized movements (exercises) that will help her to improve her health status. I would strongly urge you to review information by Gary Gray and Chuck Wolf on PTontheNet.com to further your functional approach, therefore helping this client improve her function. You can also refer her to an ART doctor who specializes in nerve entrapment (www.activerelease.com). Good luck.