Friday, September 30, 2016

Weight Bearing

Weight Bearing: Sensory input to the muscles/joints to help us know where our body is in space 

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "physical activities work bones and muscles against gravity. This occurs with any weight bearing exercise. These activities cause bones to build more cells and become strong." 

Importance of Weight Bearing:
-Promotes increased body awareness
-Increases strength 
-Promotes calm and organized behaviors which can increase attention 
-Increases coordination and balance
-Improves joint/muscle integrity 
(UAB Pediatric Neuromotor Clinic PDF)

Think about all of the systems involved to bear weight: "the tactile system localizes the part of the body that is in contact with the supporting surface. The proprioceptive system gives us information about joint position and where and how our joints are moving when we shift our weight. The vestibular system tells us our relationship to gravity, whether we are moving or stationary, and the direction and speed of our weight shift. Organization and integration of these sensations are necessary to achieve stable joints and to generate functional weight bearing and weight shifting" (Blanche, E., Botticelli, T., & Hallway, M., 1995).

Ideas for Weight Bearing: The key is to make it FUN! 
-Wheelbarrow arm walking 
-Crawling (e.g. bearcrawl)
-Scooter Boards
-Pushing/Pulling objects or toys
-Belly on an Exercise Ball 
-Yoga Poses for Weight Bearing: Get into character!
-Specifically: Dog, Sun Salute, Cat, Bridge, Lion

Image Retrieved from here 

Blanche, E., Botticelli, T., & Hallway, M. (1995). Combining Neuro-Developmental Treatment and Sensory Integration Principles (p. 58). San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skill Builders. 

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