Strength and conditioning aims to stimulate and re-activate the musculoskeletal system, strength develop, and re-educate children in gross and fine motor skills, developing a greater understanding of movement problems and finding appropriate solutions.
Using applied knowledge and the understanding of human movement and biomechanics, we break poor habitual movements and develop fundamentally correct movement patterns.
The use of specific strength and conditioning post SDR surgery is well documented in terms of the overall foundations of movement capacity and the re-education of signalling pathways required from neurological surgery. The methods used within strength and conditioning support are multi-faceted, however they will include the development of coordination, proprioception, balance and control in the first instance. This is further complemented by the development of muscular strength both locally in the form of isolated muscular development, progressing to that of multi-muscle, multi-joint based movements that are a prerequisite to the various methods of locomotion of the individual. If this process is programmed correctly it will be devised in-line with the physical ability of the child, and progressed through monitoring and evaluation of the child’s physical ability.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, strength and conditioning support will also develop the child’s physical capacity to produce repetitive movements required for daily living tasks which can include home based living, school and recreational activities.
The timing of such interventions is key, and therefore it is important to develop the above skills and capacities during the specific windows of opportunity post-surgery, also during the stages where the neural plasticity of the child is at its maximum, combined with the physical and physiological development windows of opportunity prior to, and through maturation where the child will undergo many physical and structural changes, of principle note is the increase of body mass. Therefore, before the child naturally increases their body mass, the development of time under tension capacity, and their ability to handle their own body mass is key to be able to maximise their physical development capacity.
The above make reference to a child’s physical ability. In addition, it is important to mention the additional benefits of confidence in the accomplishment of new tasks, and the social cultural benefits of the modern world and society.
Long term benefits of Strength and Conditioning include:
Re-education of muscular signalling pathways can lead to increases in fine and gross motor skill development.
Motor skill development and skill acquisition can help a child participate in every day activities and participate in sport.
Development of proprioception awareness is reported to increase a child’s capacity during locomotive tasks.
Global strength development, allows for the development of all other other physical qualities like running, skipping, jumping, and playing.
Developing cognitive behaviour through physical literacy leads to an increased emotional wellbeing and confidence for the child.
Strength development pre and post SDR surgery can expedite the recovery process post surgery and lead to long term function in life.