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Red Cord program offers flexibility to injured

September 5, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Whether you're healing from an injury or just looking for a more mind-body approach to your workout, a new European concept currently emerging in Southern California might be just what you need.

Dancer Bill Prudich is working on a unique therapy called Red Cord to rehabilitate his knee.

"I've done Gyrotonics, I've done Pilates, the whole thing, but this can identify such a small area, such a small set of muscles that the larger muscle groups are hiding," said Prudich.

Physical therapists Allyson Cabot and Gabrielle Shrier own Core Conditioning in Studio City.

It is one of a handful of places in the U.S. using Red Cord, a technique that originated in Norway. The system helps re-train brain and muscles to work together when weakness and injury have altered function.

"When we move we move with a certain pattern and we're born with the correct pattern," said Shrier. "But as we grow older and change you have to re-educate the neural system because the neural system is what activates the muscle system."

"It's like triggering the muscles to come on at the right time, so it's like turning a computer off and turning it on and hoping it works again properly," said Cabot.

Known as neuromuscular activation, therapists say it can take one to 10 sessions or so to work, depending on the challenge.

"The extra range of motion is what it's all about," said Burbank resident Tom Saliba.

Saliba had shoulder surgery four months ago. A Pilates student for 10 years, he is amazed how fast pain has subsided.

"It will catch more problems and make you work more specifically in the areas that you might be cheating through," said Shrier.

Low back, neck, knee and shoulder issues respond well.

Red Cord won't cure arthritis or bulging discs, but it can make those with those afflictions more able bodied. It also shows promise in helping diseases like M.S.

"I have a Parkinsonian patient right now and he loves it, he's doing great," said Cabot. "It's really helped with his balance and his walking."

These therapists are also instructors, able to certify doctors and other health professionals to utilize the system.

Home units are available costing around $200. The medical grade unit costs about $5,000.

Insurance companies vary with coverage but the team says most insurance honors this type of plan. But if yours doesn't, a typical sessions will cost you anywhere from $70 to $120.


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