SST is an alternative therapeutic treatment for orthopedic and neurological conditions. The method is alternative in both its approach and in the recommended course of treatment. SST takes a systemic approach to the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic and neurological conditions. It is a big picture approach, addressing the whole of a complex structure.
We start with postural reeducation by teaching you new ways to sit, stand, sleep and how to get in and out of sitting position in order to adopt optimal biomechanics resulting in long-term lifestyle changes. We then teach you simple corrective exercises that comprise your self-care (homework) routine. At least half of each session (except sessions one and two) involves precise connective tissue corrections applied by the therapist to your body.
We then introduce specific breathing and relaxation techniques in order to promote parasympathetic nervous system activation, which supports homeostasis and balance; while inhibiting sympathetic nervous system otherwise known as “fight or flight” stress response.
Let’s compare the traditional and the SST approach in evaluating and treating you with an orthopedic condition such as severe left hip pain:
The traditional approach would often be to examine your left hip using ROM test, muscle testing and various forms of imaging techniques such as MRI, X-ray or C.T. scan. Then a diagnosis would be formulated for the left hip which would result in a treatment plan for your left hip.
The SST alternative approach involves a structural evaluation of your entire body even though you are suffering of left hip pain. The evaluation is a head-to-toe assessment in both static and dynamic positions. The assessment is done by looking, palpating and asking you for specific feedback. We then design a results-oriented treatment plan that addresses your whole body, addressing the root cause and not just the affected “symptomatic” left hip.
It’s different in three key ways.
First, SST is different because it uses a unilateral strategy in order to restore balance. This is THE biggest difference. This approach is based on the concept that if your WHOLE body is out of balance, with one side “locked short” and dominant while the other side is “locked long,” and weakened and passive. This creates imbalances in your entire body causing various forms of pain, injury and dysfunction. If we were to create an action plan that works both sides equally… this would simply allow the entire system to stay in its dysfunction and remain unbalanced.
You are therefore given side-specific exercises and/or stretches based on the side-specific structural imbalances you have presented with, stretching only one side while strengthening only the opposite side. This results in promoting a well-balanced efficient and high functioning system; in other words, pain and dysfunction are transformed into wellbeing, optimal biomechanics, and a higher physical and athletic capacity.
Secondly, SST is different because each treatment combines both active and passive techniques. Your treatment combines active exercises and stretches done during the session and as your homework routine. These are supported and enhanced by slow and precise connective tissue corrections, applied by your therapist, which are a passive technique.
Thirdly, SST is different because it is based on a partnership model between you and your therapist, as opposed to a patient simply receiving treatment. We partner with you with a focus on empowerment and education where you play an integral and very active role in your treatment. That means by doing your homework, and changing a lifetime of “interesting” postural and biomechanical patterns that have resulted from and/or contribute to your discomfort and pain.