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Setting the Foundation
Elimination of Pain:
Pain changes the way we move. Period.
Whether you know it or not, our bodies adapt in all situations to accommodate to presentation and situation. In short, this means that whether we want it or not, our bodies will make the changes it believes are necessary to allow for situational variance.
This is not always a good thing. Often times, these changes create improper movement patterning. When exercised and loaded, these improper, inefficient patterns become cemented in the central nervous system, predisposing the individual to further injury if not corrected.
Joint-by-Joint Approach to Movement:
We believe that the body was meant to move with a series of alternating joint responsibilities: Mobile - Stable - Mobile - Stable
The following list looks at the body on a joint-by-joint basis from the bottom up.
Ankle — Mobility (sagittal)
Knee — Stability
Hip — Mobility (multi-planar)
Lumbar Spine — Stability
Thoracic Spine — Mobility
Scapula — Stability
Gleno-humeral — Mobility
In short, when a joint loses either mobility or stability, the surrounding joints compensate to allow for continued function in the presence of dysfunction. These compensations will typically lead to aberrant motion and high levels of tissue stress, leading to injury.
Before training can be implemented, our clinicians and coaches ensure that each individual holds the proper mobility and stability necessary during exercise.
Functional Movement Screening:
People often make the incorrect assumption that functional movements screens are only for athletes. They assume that athletes are those individuals playing sports for a school, club, or team. Webster defines the word “athlete” as follows:
a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina
What’s commonly missed is the line of thinking that we are all, indeed, athletes. Regardless if you are a carpenter, secretary, supermarket attendant, police officer, waiter, nurse, etc., couldn’t one argue that each of these individuals, throughout the course of a normal day, are trained or skilled in specific movements and tasks requiring physical strength, agility or stamina? If so, couldn’t one also argue that if functional movement screens are meant to detect (and eventually correct) faulty core movement patterns in athletes, they could, in fact, detect these same faulty core movement patterns in the average individual?
If we can provide movement evaluation and correction for the athlete, shouldn’t we be able to provide movement evaluation and correction for almost anyone?
This is why we screen. We screen because it’s a universal tool, along the same lines as a blood pressure reading, or a vision exam, not meant to diagnose, but instead to categorize individuals and set a baseline of acceptable and unacceptable… providing direction for improvement.
A functional movement screen is a systematic evaluation of 7 primary functional movements. These movements, although they may not be seen directly during activity, all play an integral part in day-to-day neuromusculoskeletal function. The screen, like the tests and exams previously listed above, provides a baseline evaluation and an acceptable/unacceptable bottom-line, essentially providing information that dictates whether or whether-not an individual is ready for exercise and activity.
Let’s be honest, half the battle of exercise and activity is finding the motivation to get off the couch. We constantly hear individuals ask this question, “If I don’t hurt when I move, why would I need to be screened?” And believe me, we get it. After winning the battle of leaving the couch, the last thing most people want to do is perform a number of different tests that tell them if they are or if they aren’t ready to exercise.
But don’t worry, there’s a great reason behind movement integrity. The human body was always intended to move in very specific ways, and it goes much farther than simply “being strong”. The name of the game here lies in two words, mobility and stability. Both are of upmost importance, and both are completely reliant on one another. Mobility is the body’s ability to achieve full range of motion at all joints, both actively and passively. Stability is the body’s ability to fire muscles in the right sequence, at the right speed and with the right amount of strength to stabilize the mobility that is presented.
When stability and mobility are both optimized, efficiency is optimized. When efficiency is optimized, muscular strength, power and endurance is optimally efficient… allowing for a more complete athlete, who is ready for the vigorous demands of training and competition.
In addition, when stability and mobility are both optimized, joint movement and function are optimized, and when combined with the neuromuscular efficiency outlined above, injury risk is greatly reduced.