#PTonICE Daily Show – Thursday, May 30th, 2024 – Loading the lateral shift

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, Spine Division lead faculty Jordan Berry discusses three different variations to load the lateral shift: side plank variations, RNT side bends, and unilateral carries.

Take a listen or check out our full show notes on our blog at www.ptonice.com/blog.

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All right, what is up PT on Ice Daily Show? This is Dr. Jordan Berry, Lead Faculty for Cervical Management and Lumbar Spine Management. And today we are continuing our theme of the lateral shift. So we’ve had a few episodes over the last few weeks. For the first episode, we were chatting about how do you actually recognize the lateral shift? Like from a subjective, from an objective standpoint, how do you pick up a lateral shift in the clinic so you’re not gonna miss it? Second, we went over what are our lateral shift correction variations. Besides the standard one, then standing, what are some other ways that we could correct the lateral shift based on the patient irritability? Today, we’re talking about loading the lateral shift. So this is something that comes up in courses quite often for our lumbar management courses when we’re talking about the lateral shift and we have some different ways to reduce symptoms and to correct the shift or reduce the person’s pain, decrease the irritability, but then what do you follow that with? Like in the session, right? We’re not oftentimes just doing 40 or 45 minutes of a shift correction. We want to try to apply load to the person’s system as well. And if we can start to load that person, the shift correction is going to quote-unquote stick more or be more effective during the session, between sessions. As long as the irritability allows for us to start to apply some load, we want to be able to. So we’re going to go over three exercises that we commonly use in the clinic to start to load the lateral shift. So I’ve got Jenna again with me. Jenna is part of our fitness athlete division. She’s going to be demoing some of the exercises while I’m talking through it. So let’s get the camera set so we can see the ground a little bit better right here. Okay, perfect.

The first way that we’re going to talk about that we load for the lateral shift is a side plank variation. So I want you to think about really just loading unilaterally. Whether it be the midline, core, whether it be the lateral hip, we’re just trying to load that side to get the person to load that part of the spine. So for example, let’s say Jenna had left-sided symptoms. Left-sided symptoms. So we said in a previous episode, almost always the lateral shift is going to be away from the side of symptoms. So, it might be slightly backwards depending on what platform that you’re watching with the camera, but we are shifting away from the side of symptoms. So again, we’re saying this side here, and if you’re listening on the podcast on whatever platform that you’re on, be sure to hop on either Instagram or YouTube and watch this episode as well so you can see the exercises in real time. Okay, so the first exercise. So we’re going to say again that left side is painful and we are shifted towards the right. So we are going to do a side plank variation in order to load in to the painful side. So we’re going to start with our standard side plank variation. The painful side is going to be down. So again, the side towards the floor would be the symptomatic side. And you can appreciate as Jenna comes up and squeezes the glute, squeezes the midline here, she is loading this bottom side that is towards the floor. Now, we could of course go through our same variations with the side plank that we would if we were loading the lateral hip to increase or decrease the difficulty, right? We could have the feet together, we could have knees together, we could also have that top leg floating that makes the bottom side work even harder. How would we regress that? if the person can’t tolerate that full version. So Jenna, you can come up here. We would go to an elevated surface. So you could use a bench or you could use a box or you could use a table. But what Jenna is going to do is mimic the exact same position. only now she’s at an angle, right? So she’s not fully on the ground and we’ve taken out some of the load. So now it’s likely only about half of her body weight that she’s having to hold up. And again, the painful side is still down. You can appreciate if this is the painful side and we went here, that’s basically the way that Jenna would be shifted. But when she contracts, that is the same thing as a shift correction. Only now we’re applying load. instead of regressing it, how would we progress it? We could just add some resistance to the side plank. So we’ve got a band right here around the rig here. And what you would do, I’m gonna lift this up, Jenna would do the exact same side plank, only she’s got this resistance band right around the hip. Much more challenging. When she comes up, she has to press into the resistance band and now she’s getting way more load and working way harder to correct that shift or load that shift after we have done the lateral shift correction. You can come out of that, Jenna. So that’s number one, a side plank variation. There’s a million different ways. You just have to respect the irritability.

Number two is essentially an RNT side bend. So RNT meaning reactive neuromuscular training. So we’re going to take a band and put it around Jenna’s torso. And the band is just essentially pulling her in the direction that we don’t want to go so that she has to fight against it and go in the opposite direction. So we’re going to take this band, Jenna’s going to wrap it around, and then bring your arm over top. Perfect. So we’ve got the band here, okay? So we are saying again that the left side, side here, is the symptomatic side. So if we had a lateral shift, she would be going this way. Well now, in order to stand in midline and keep herself centered, she now has to push in to that resistance band. So again, the band is pulling her more in the direction that we don’t want her to go, right? There would be more in the direction of going away from the symptoms. So the more that resistance band or the more resistance the band has and the heavier, thicker that band is, the more she’s going to have to fight against it to self-correct into that position. essentially a standing version of the side plank that we just demonstrated. Okay, so that’s number two.

Number three is going to be a unilateral carry. Unilateral carry. So you could use dumbbell, you can use kettlebell. We typically will load it with a kettlebell. But again, just to stick with the same theme, saying the left side would be the symptomatic side. So Jenna would almost always be shifted away towards the right. we are going to put the weight on the right side. So we are putting the weight on the side opposite of symptoms so that she has to fight against the weight and correct back to midline. So again, the weight is pulling her in the direction that she’s already going, avoiding the symptoms. And the heavier the weight is, she’s going to have to work that much harder to pull herself back to midline. So you could start with just the static hold with the kettlebell. We could also add in a march to make it more challenging. And she’s just lifting one foot at a time, going nice and slow and again, trying to just make sure that her midline is really engaged and active and holding her in this neutral position, fighting against the direction that she would typically be going to avoid the side of symptoms.

So those are our three variations. We’ve got the side plank, very similar to how we would typically load the lateral hip. We’ve got progressions and regressions, just based on the patient irritability, find something that they can tolerate that does not increase symptoms. We also have that RNT, that banded side bend, where the band is pulling more in the direction that we don’t want the person to go, so they have to fight against it. And the exact same thing with the unilateral carry. Whatever side the symptoms are on, the weight is on the opposite side, so they have to self-correct and pull themselves back towards midline. Three ways that you can start to load a lateral shift in the clinic. So again, we’ve got three parts now in this series that we’re doing on the lateral shift. Part one, how to actually recognize it in the clinic. Part two, what are the lateral shifts? And three, how do we actually start to load the lateral shift? All right, that’s all I’ve got. Have a great day in the clinic. And we have a few lumbar management courses coming up this month. We’ve got Anchorage, Alaska, and we’ve got Paoli, Pennsylvania. So check out PTOnIce.com for tickets. All the other dates coming up. Have a great day in the clinic.

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