Exercise for Patients With Limited Mobility

 

As patients go through my programs and get relief from life altering and severe heath conditions, they often ask the question, “Dr. Currie, what can I do at home to get even healthier and take the work you have done here a step further?” I tell them to go through my Lab Based Clinical Nutrition Program beginning with my 14 Day Blood Sugar Boot Camp. I also explain the importance of exercise once they are back home and on their feet again. For every patient, the Currie Panel and the 14 Day Blood Sugar Boot Camp are the starting point. After that is completed, we can sit together and figure out what to do to begin Phase II (on day 15). It is my opinion that routine bloodwork performed at most clinics isn’t thorough enough and that is why so much disease goes undetected.
Ideal exercise would include a regimen of water aerobics, stationary recumbent bicycle or elliptical trainer (NO TREADMILS!), and core strengthening through yoga. Muscular strength and flexibility are very important for overall health and protection of the spinal structures. What are two things that people lose as they age? Strength and flexibility. I strongly recommend that all patients get into doing some type of yoga related exercise on a regular basis (a minimum of 3 times a week but ideally, daily).
It is important to recognize that not all people are the same and that you may not be able to perform all of the yoga moves on a particular DVD, especially in the beginning, but the goal is to build up over time to develop the strength and flexibility. Yoga is also very relaxing and will simply make you feel better so just do it. I strongly recommend purchasing a thick yoga mat that has plenty of cushioning so that your knees don’t hurt. You may have to start off doing yoga in a chair if you can’t get on the floor. That’s okay too! Do whatever you can and with time, you will start seeing benefits. The deep breathing associated with yoga alone improves health by removing wastes such as carbon dioxide and other toxic gases in the body. I recommend the following Yoga DVD: A.M. Yoga for Your Week by Rodney Yee
**An alternative for wheelchair bound or walker dependent patients would be a DVD called “Sit and Be Fit”.
A.M. Yoga for Your Week is a solid yoga for a beginner and is very relaxing. It can still be challenging though. We introduced it to my 75 year old father-in-law and he does the a.m. workout 2x a day, morning and night. It was hard and challenging for him at first but he has
improved greatly and continues to do it faithfully. My mother-in-law is doing it now as well! My father-in-law, Sammy, is a retired iron worker and he is the last person on Earth that you would expect to do yoga but he says that it is what keeps him going.
I think that a very important point that has to be addressed is the idea or notion that physical therapy, injections or yoga can help repair a disc in the spine or other spinal related conditions. I would have to say that the answer to that would be a resounding “No”. The goal with my patients, is to treat the root cause of their problem and once that is addressed, release them from care. I don’t want people coming back forever for more treatments once they are finished unless they just want to come back periodically for a “tune up” treatment.
I like to educate and empower my patients by teaching them what it takes to be healthy. Physical therapy or yoga strengthens muscles and works on flexibility. If someone has a blown out or degenerative disc and riddled with arthritis, that is where my Program comes in. I work with my patients to help them get the disc material away from the nerves and rehydrate the cushions (discs) between the bones in the spine. That is what relieves the pain or dysfunction. Then, I explain the importance of working on strength and flexibility so that they are protecting the healthier insides and are therefore less prone to re-injury. I have had patients (that I treated 11 years ago) do these things and are still doing great. They also refer their family and friends to me.