Treatment Philosophy

Our treatment philosophy is drawn from many different schools of thought and principle. We have been blessed with the opportunities to work and learn from individuals whom we consider some of the most gifted physicians, medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, physical trainers, orthopedists and surgeons in the country. Through these experiences our techniques of hands on manual medicine, principles of postural awareness, movement pattern correction, rehabilitation, muscle chain coordination, joint function and balance have been honed. 

To help you understand our process the following may be of help. 

The body is a balanced, intricate and adaptable organism that has undergone countless daily stresses and injuries since the time of conception. Each injury to the body (repetitive or obvious) leaves remnants of muscular, joint and nervous system dysfunction and it is these remnants that with time can cause compensation patterns as a means of protection from these injuries.  Unfortunately, the hard wiring of the body -the nervous system- is a perfect system. What we mean by ‘unfortunately’ is that it perfectly learns what we consciously or subconsciously teach it, whether those teachings are correct or incorrect. For example, hitting a golf ball with control is a learned manual (motor) task. At the beginning we are unable to perform the task but with practice we eventually are able to control the flight of the ball with consistency and accuracy. With practice that task becomes subconscious as we have taught our muscles, joints and nervous system how to do so. However, this “perfect” nervous system can also sabotage us.

Let us take the case of the seated desk worker (secretary, CEO, computer operator, sales clerk, etc.). Via the nervous system and this repetitive habit of sitting, the body begins its task of adapting. Some muscles begin a shortening process over weeks, months and years while others begin a course towards weakness and inhibition (neurologic shutdown). These are known physiologic processes. These muscles may be necessary for normal spinal and peripheral joint function and stability. Furthermore, patterns of muscle and joint activation, something we call movement patterns, begin to alter or shut down. This is a compensation process and if allowed to become present for a long enough period of time, these compensations will be learned by the nervous system as normal. As the process persists the body will develop far reaching adaptations and adjustments to compensate for this impaired dysfunction. In time, the body’s ability to tolerate these adaptations or compensations will be fatigued and lost. Thus, pain and adaptations will begin. The body now begins to experience pain intermittently, in different areas as well as chronic learned behaviors to move, sit or stand differently to avoid the pain. Keep in mind, while all this is occurring we are teaching the nervous system more dysfunctional patterns of movement and muscle activation. Thus, the problem becomes more ingrained, chronic and more difficult to resolve.

Perhaps the best advice we can give you is that little discomfort, tightness or ache you are feeling from time to time, performing any given simple task or while sitting, standing or walking are cues from your body that there is something wrong within the musculoskeletal system. The symptoms are cues that tissues are not working correctly and are under abnormal stress and strain and, if left long enough, the body will begin its natural process of creating adaptations and changes to protect the area. The key to fixing these problems is to address them as soon as they appear, before the body compensates and develops adaptations that make the problems more complicated and timely in repair.  The longer these issues are left to smoulder, the longer it can take to remedy them.

Your problems need to be assessed by a professional who understands these concepts, who understands compensatory adaptations, biomechanics, gait, posture, the musculoskeletal system and its nervous system. You need to search for a professional who can hunt down the underlying core problem. There is an old adage in physical medicine that if you are treating the area of pain, you are treating the symptomatic area and not the true problem.

In health,  


The ACO Team