With Egoscue, Sequencing is Important

Almost on a daily basis, I get asked the question. It might be phrased differently from one person to the next, but generally speaking, the question is the same: Is the order of exercises important?

The answer, as you might suspect, is yes.

Just like with other aspect of life, order is important. One step sets up the next. You have to crawl before you walk. Whether you’re doing your Egoscue menu, following a cake recipe, or putting together a desk from IKEA, order is important. Actually, to have any hope of getting an IKEA desk together properly, following the right order is extremely important. But I digress…

With Egoscue, it’s not only important to start with the proper exercise and follow them in order, but I also believe it’s important to start with the proper joint or area of the body. For example, if you’re struggling with knee pain but you look in the mirror and notice your upper body is rotated, then that’s the first order of business that needs to be taken care of. I guarantee you that because of your knee pain, your upper body is compensating to help out and get you from Point A to Point B. Your thoracic rotation is the body’s way of helping you move. It is doing work that your lower body just can’t functionally do. If we skip over that fact and simply try to get the knee functioning properly, we’re putting the cart before the horse. Again, order is important. We wouldn’t be doing you, or your knee, any favors by allowing you to stay rotated throughout the therapy process.

Which area of the body you attack first plays directly in to the sequencing of the individual e-cises in your menu. Starting you with an exercise like Static Back, for example, would allow your upper body to settle in and un-rotate. The better your upper body is functioning, the better the lower body will function. Think of it like peeling the layers of an onion. Your knee pain is the “center of the onion.” Your upper-body rotation is the outer layer of the onion. Sure, we can cut through the onion and fix the “center,” but we’ve done nothing to address the outer layers that are impacting your overall function. The more you peel away the superficial layers, the closer you get to the core of the issue.

With your menu, if you decide to cherry-pick it, doing only the ones you “like” or “feel good,” you’re doing things out of order. You might be strengthening before straightening. You might be walking before you crawl. You might be putting the cart before the horse.

Not only does one exercise set up the next, but addressing one part of the body also sets up the next. Take the exercises, and your menus, in order, no matter how much you love them or hate them. There’s a method to our madness, or better yet, a madness to this Method.

QUESTION: What has been your experience with sequencing? When have you wanted to skip around and “cherry-pick” your menu?