Controlled ResistanceWhat are the Benefits of STEP Therapy?
S.T.E.P. – A Deeper Understanding of Controlled Resistance
Your injured connective tissues – including bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons – benefit greatly from resistance exercises. To understand resistance, try this simple test. Stand for 30 seconds, with your arms relaxed at your side. There is no resistance on your arms and the connective tissue in your arms is not improved. Next, stand for 30 seconds with your arms extended straight out in front of you. Do you notice how quickly your arms become tired? That is because you are resisting the force of gravity. If you repeated this test 12 times a day, your arms would develop stronger connective tissue as a response to the resistance.
“Controlled resistance exercise” is an essential key to your healing process. New Heights Physical Therapy understands the concept of resistance exercise and utilizes it with a precision tool called S.T.E.P., or Scientific Therapeutic Exercise Progression. S.T.E.P. is designed to help you heal from any specific connective tissue problem you might have.
S.T.E.P. has several important advantages:
Each type of connective tissue in your body has specific and unique movements that facilitate its healing. S.T.E.P. is individualized according to whether your connective tissue problem involves the muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, spinal discs, nerves, joint capsules, and/or bones.
2. Control & Precision
The amount of controlled resistance and range of movement for each exercise is carefully calibrated to match the needs of very specific areas of connective tissue.
- If you have a rotator cuff tear, S.T.E.P. provides controlled resistance in a precise range of motion for internal and external rotation of the arm that will facilitate the healing of the involved tendon.
- If the cartilage in your spine is injured, S.T.E.P. allows controlled gliding of the joint with intermittent compression and decompression of the spine, combined with very small rotational movements between each segment of the back. The rotational movements put a controlled resistance through the disc fibers to stimulate new cellular tissue in the area for repair and growth.
- If you have bone loss (osteoporosis), S.T.E.P. provides you with weight-bearing exercises that stimulate more bone mass without endangering your bones.
S.T.E.P. is a progression of exercise that may begin with increasing circulation of oxygen and nutrients to your injured tissue in order to initiate repair at a cellular level. At the same time, it aids in the removal of pain-causing substances and other waste products. S.T.E.P resistance is increased as you improve, which accelerates your progress.
4. Strength and Mobility
Once your tissue has improved circulation, S.T.E.P. can be progressed to increase your strength or mobility. If you start to train for these qualities too soon your tissue may not be ready and could rupture. This could lead to more pain and inflammation. S.T.E.P. uses a controlled progression, based on our careful evaluation of your progress.
5. Protection of Injured Tissue
S.T.E.P also protects your injured tissue. There is no increase in your existing pain level with this exercise program and body awareness is encouraged as you do the exercises. Each exercise is modified to help you achieve the desired results without pain or risk of re-injury.
S.T.E.P. is designed to increase permanent blood supply to injured tissues, and to increase circulation of oxygen and healing nutrients to the affected area.
7. Guidance & Evaluation
We provide you with the guidance you need to master and take full advantage of your healing program. Your progress is facilitated by constant assessments that allow your program to be modified as your needs change. Guidance and evaluation also reduce your risk of re-injury.
You can do S.T.E.P. in our clinic, at home, or in your gym. If exercising at home is more convenient for you, we provide you with all the training and equipment you need to do the exercises safely and correctly.
9. Beyond Pain Relief
S.T.E.P. recognizes that relief of pain does not always indicate strong healthy tissue. Doing S.T.E.P. over time (weeks to months) thickens tissue to withstand greater forces. S.T.E.P. takes you beyond pain relief and into a permanent healing state that minimizes risk of re-injury.