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What Is the Meeks Method?posted on: Nov 26th, 2018 category:rehabilitation
by Patti Koehler, PT, WCS
Everyone has heard of the importance of weight bearing exercise to help build bone density or decrease the rate of bone loss.
Weight-bearing exercise is but one piece of a part of a comprehensive treatment approach for osteoporosis. The Meeks Method is an exercise and alignment program developed by Sara Meeks, PT, MS, GCS, KYT whose work specialized in the management of persons with low bone mass and postural problems. Designed to prevent, arrest, and or reverse the patterns of postural change through anatomical alignment and strengthening of the back extensor and core muscles.
As we age, there is a tendency for most people to lose their ability to sit or stand up straight in good posture. Through a lifetime of prolonged sitting slouched with a rounded mid and low back and forward head, as well as lifting and bending with poor body mechanics, the muscles at the front of the body become tight, the back becomes rounded, and we lose the normal curves of our spine. This results in a tremendous force being constantly exerted on the weak and porous trabecular bones that make up the body of the vertebra increasing the risk for fracture. Flexion exercises of the spine, therefore, should be contraindicated for those with known osteoporosis and should be limited for those with osteopenia.
West Portland Physical Therapy thanks Sara Meeks for her insights and incorporates the foundations of the Meeks Method into our treatment of patients with osteoporosis and osteopenia. Through patient education, site-specific exercises, instruction in body mechanics, postural correction, balance training, weight-bearing exercise, modalities, and bracing as needed we strive to assist our patients in making the postural changes that will prevent, arrest, and or reverse the patterns of postural change that poorly impact the health of our bones over time.
Remember, osteoporosis is said to be a pediatric condition that manifests in adulthood. It is frightening to consider the amount of bone damage being done over time as we have become more stagnant in our day to day lives, hunched over our computer screens or staring down on our smart phones. Picture your spines as you do this, picture your friends’, partners’, and children’s spines. What will they look like and what will the health of their bones be when they turn 75?
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