Family doctors consistently refer their patients to expertly trained specialists. The specialist’s field of expertise helps the referring doctor feel confident they are sending their patient to the right place/person for help (i.e., cardiologist for heart problems, neurologist for nerve issues, etc.). However, when it comes to chronic muscle and joint pain, it is challenging and often confusing for doctors to make the right referral.
When a client’s condition is acute in nature (i.e. the result of an injury) an appropriate referral can be made to a suitable specialist. A recommendation can be made to a physiotherapist (or physical therapist) for acute injuries and to a surgeon in cases where a bone has been broken, or the skeleton damaged in some way.
However, the majority of musculoskeletal conditions are chronic or ongoing in nature (i.e., recurring back pain, knee pain, neck pain, etc.). These problems are usually the result of long-standing musculoskeletal imbalances and/or movement dysfunction. When a patient’s condition is the result of such a common issue, doctors often do not have a suitable person they can refer to who is specifically trained in targeting these problems. As a result, doctors often take a more generalized approach to their patient’s care suggesting that they don’t sit so much, lose some weight, exercise more, stretch regularly, try acupuncture, or get a massage for example.
Corrective exercise knowledge fills this gap in care
Since almost 90% of people will experience pain and movement limitations as the direct result of musculoskeletal imbalances, a huge opportunity exists for specialists explicitly trained in understanding and alleviating the underlying causes of muscle and joint pain. This booming specialty niche lies in the field of corrective exercise – and is the perfect solution to help fill this gap in care. A corrective exercise specialist, or fitness professional expertly trained in corrective exercise techniques, is knowledgeable in human anatomy and the musculoskeletal system. They are also skilled in assessing both the skeleton and soft tissue structures, and can select/design appropriate corrective exercises to address a client’s musculoskeletal imbalances and causes of their ongoing aches and pains. They can also make appropriate referrals to licensed medical professionals when a client’s condition(s) lies beyond their scope of practice and their condition requires medical treatment and/or a diagnosis.
As a fitness professional, you are likely regularly approached by clients for assistance with musculoskeletal issues. As such, obtaining your corrective exercise specialist qualification from a reputable source, and applying those skills to meet the needs of clients with ongoing muscle and joint pain, is your first step to building a thriving business as a personal trainer and/or corrective exercise specialist.
As your skills and confidence in applying corrective exercise techniques develop, the next step lies in marketing and networking your specialty skills to appropriate medical professionals. By communicating with licensed health professionals about clients/patients with corrective exercise needs, these doctors will begin to trust and appreciate your specialty skills. They will also start to feel confident they have found a professional they can refer to who is qualified and experienced in targeting the underlying causes of chronic muscle and joint pain. Such a recommendation guarantees success for all parties, with the doctor, client and corrective exercise specialist all benefiting from the relationship.
To find out more about corrective exercise, check out the fitness industry’s highest-rated corrective exercise specialist program – The BioMechanics Method (available from Australian Fitness Network).
Justin is the creator of The BioMechanics Method® Corrective Exercise Specialist (TBMM-CES) program available from Australian Fitness Network. TBMM-CES is the fitness industry’s highest-rated specialty certification. There are trained TBMM specialists in over 70 countries helping people alleviate pain and reach their performance goals. He is also the author of several books including the esteemed academic textbook The BioMechanics Method for Corrective Exercise. Justin is a former IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, founding author of PTA Global, and a subject matter expert for The American Council on Exercise, PTontheNET, TRX, BOSU, Arthritis Today, BBC, Discovery Health, Los Angeles Times, Men’s Health, MSNBC, New York Times, Newsweek, Time, Wall Street Journal, WebMD and Tennis Magazine.