Most people are familiar with exercise specialists, trainers, physical therapists, and orthopedists. So why would you need to see an orthopedic exercise specialist? Here are some reasons why seeing an orthopedic exercise specialist may be a great addition to your orthopedic healthcare team.
What is an Orthopedic Exercise Specialist?
An orthopedic exercise specialist is a healthcare professional with certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to treat musculoskeletal-related conditions and other disorders with exercise. To qualify as an orthopedic exercise specialist, the candidate must have an associates or bachelor’s degree, as well as any number of certifications depending on which area of expertise and specialty they wish to pursue. These certifications provide unique and additional expertise in a variety of health, fitness, and sports medicine specialties, including personal and athletic training; occupational, physical and recreational therapy; chiropractic medicine, and medical care. With regard to orthopedics, an orthopedic exercise specialist’s expertise resides in helping treat patients who are suffering from muscular and joint pain, muscle imbalances, and musculoskeletal disorders.
Exercise as Treatment
An orthopedic exercise specialist bridges the gap between fitness and medical care. Seeing an orthopedic exercise specialist is advantageous for persons whose health conditions require an exercise plan to assist in improving their health and wellness.
Orthopedic Exercise Specialist/Fitness Trainer – is there a difference?
An orthopedic exercise specialist and fitness instructor/trainer are interchangeable. It is the responsibility of the specialist/trainer to create exercises that encourage a healthy lifestyle and those that will improve a client’s health over time. Patients who have a high risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, or other debilitating illnesses may find an orthopedic exercise specialist can be extremely helpful to get them on track for controlling factors that affect their conditions. For instance, exercise can lower blood pressure, decrease blood sugar spikes and strengthen bone density, each of which can help with any number of concerning medical conditions.
Exercise as a Health Factor
A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise is essential for those with orthopedic concerns. Exercise and strength training can have a positive effect for adding function and flexibility to joints that have been affected by injury, osteoarthritis or other degenerative conditions. In fact, muscle strength and bone density tend to increase with the right kind of exercise. Exercise can also impact weight, which is important when striving to preserve the integrity of the joints.
Going at it Alone
One might think that so long as they are exercising, their health will improve. Unfortunately, while exercise is a great addition to any health regime, not every program works for every person, and can actually be harmful if pursued incorrectly. For example, as much as you love running, your joints might not. In cases like this, an orthopedic exercise specialist might devise another program that is similar to running, but with minimal impact to the joints. An orthopedic exercise specialist will evaluate your condition before building a regimen that is right for you.
Developing a Plan
An orthopedic exercise specialist will work with your orthopedist when developing a healthy exercise plan that will benefit your health and rehabilitation goals. The specialist will focus on a strengthening therapy to improve mobility and functionality, while increasing muscle strength, maintaining bone strength and helping to prevent future injuries by improving balance and coordination. Your orthopedic specialist will exercise major muscle groups and allow for rest in between strength training so that the muscles can regenerate. Your orthopedist may prescribe physical therapy, but that is only short-term rehabilitation. An orthopedic exercise specialist will help you devise a plan to keep moving for life.
As previously mentioned, exercise is only one side of the equation, but it is an essential component of medical treatment for orthopedic concerns. If you are interested in expanding your exercise or rehabilitative regime to include a focus on your orthopedic health, the orthopedic exercise specialists at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence want to hear from you! And if you have any orthopedic concerns, our board-certified fellowship-trained orthopedic medical professionals can diagnose and treat the root of your problem. If you have any questions about their services, please call our office at (719) 623-1050. Or you can call us or use our secure online appointment request form. Good health and freedom from pain are only a phone call away.