For many years, physical therapists have studied human movement and the science of restoring mobility. In the 1980’s, physical therapists began to push the idea of “Function”. Since then, PT educators have given countless lectures on the importance of function and that exercises should have a focus on function. Unfortunately, performing therapy in a functional pattern is far more difficult than many PT’s are aware of. In fact, just increasing strength and/or range of motion does not equal restoring function. Take walking, for instance, walking is probably the most important and basic function to human movement. However, many times therapy involves exercises that look nothing like walking. If the exercises don’t look or sound like walking, then it isn’t walking. Walking, as basic as it may seem, is a very complex activity that utilizes all three planes of movement – which means our body is moving forward, side to side, and in rotation with every step. It’s obvious that our hips move forward, but it is far less obvious that our hips move side to side, or in rotation. However, when we watch a fashion model do the cat walk down the runway, the side to side and rotational movements become blatantly obvious. PT for restoring walking , also known as “gait training” must include exercises in standing which break down all three planes of movement. The primary focus should be on the hips in developing control which includes both strength and balance. Exercises must develop from the core and include arms as well as legs.
At Brunswick Physical Therapy we are all highly trained in the science of “function”, we use exercises known as “Chain Reaction Transformation”. These are core integrated exercises, which means that the entire body is used to treat any one area of pain or dysfunction. We will do a thorough, full body evaluation to find what movements you can perform successfully. The treatment then utilizes those successful movements as exercises to restore strength, mobility and relieve pain.
Questions? Comments? Let me hear from you!
~ Peter St.Germain, PT