Friday, July 20, 2012

Mobility as the foundation

Sometimes when we initiate a rehabilitation plan with a new patient one of the first questions that is asked is "why do I have to stretch so often?" and a question that is often thought but not asked is "what's with the emphasis on flexibility?" Well, the long and short of it is that we know that quality movement, movement that is efficient and uncompensated, is the holy grail of painfree physical function. Quality movement is the construct of 3 main principles that build upon each other:
1) mobility
2) neuromuscular activation
3) motor control
We start with such an emphasis on mobility, flexibility, range of motion, etc because, without out it you allow the movement system (i.e. your body) to compensate and therefore, move incorrectly. This reduces the effectiveness of the body to stabilize properly. Incorrect movement and improper stability leads to injury.
To further drive home this point about why mobility comes first, think about a baby for moment. We come into this world with ultimate flexibility. Floppy bundles with unparalleled range of motion. Over the coming months and years we develop muscle strength and neural networks to improve our ability to be stable and move a limb through space. Now that Principles 1 and 2 are in place, thousands of hours of practice create a movement system (you) that now has motor control (#3). And, if we think about the myriad ways a child or adolescent moves through the world with grace, joy, and efficiency (dancing, monkey bars, soccer, etc), its a marvel to wonder where it all goes when we get older. Well, for some reason, we stop moving or, at best, narrow our focus down to one specific movement pattern that we master, such as running, golf, throwing a baseball. A few of us can even make a nice living being an expert at just one way of moving. But there's a price.
Unfortunately, the foundation of quality movement is lost. We lack variability, we stop challenging our boundaries, we stiffen up in areas we don't use, and we lose the mobility we once had. But, all is not lost. The expert movement analysts at Eugene Physical Therapy are skilled at observing how you are moving, breaking it down into its component parts, and first and foremost, restoring that mobility that made you such a whiz at movement long ago.
I'll leave you with this wonderful example of someone who has made the choice long ago to continue to move, well, like a kid.

When you make the choice to go to Physical Therapy, you are making a choice to move better, with more range of motion, more efficiency and power, and with less pain.
See you soon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What do all those letters mean?

Joe has been gracious enough to let me in on some posts to our clinic blog and I was trying to figure out where to start. One question we get is
What do those letters mean after your name?
Well, lets start with DPT. That stands for Doctor of Physical Therapy. Just so there's no confusion, that does NOT mean we are MDs. It just means that clinician has graduated from a doctoral level PT program. Almost all of the over 200 PT programs in the country offer the DPT. Its a rigorous 3 year graduate program including course work in differential diagnosis, radiology, pharmacology, research, and professional ethics in addition to the standard master's level curriculum. Being a Doctor of Physical Therapy does not mean we can prescribe medicine or order imaging, but rather it is the terminal clinical degree a PT can earn and is a way of best preparing PTs for the ever-changing healthcare field.
The next most common acronym you'll see is OCS. This stands for Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and is a Board Certification Through the American Physical Therapy Association. PTs who have this moniker have passed a day long exam testing their aptitude in the specialty of orthopedic PT.

CSCS stands for Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. This is offered through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and represents a provider who has special training in, you guessed it, Strength and Conditioning. There are myriad ways to strengthen your legs, jump higher, run faster and avoid injury; we can best help you do that.Link
CertMDT is another specialty some of our PTs possess. This is a certification through the McKenzie Institute, a highly respected international post-graduate training system for PTs. This is one of the most well researched and clinically effective treatment approaches for mechanical disorders and it has a large focus on empowering the patient to improve themselves.

ATC is a certified athletic trainer. Commonly found in sports rehab and training settings, ATCs have special training in diagnosing and treating acute sports injuries.

CGFI is a Certified Gold Fitness Instructor through the Titliest Performance Institute. This is a cutting edge functional assessment and training approach that analyses golf swing faults and how deficits in human movement contribute to those faults.

CSFA is a Certified Specialist in Functional Assessment. They have taken courses training them to perform ergonomic assessments and modifications as well as perform Functional Capacity Evaluations to assist in determining return to work status for injured workers.

USATF certified distance coach is a provider who has received advanced training in coaching through the governing body of the US track and field association. This allows them to best tailor an individualized program to help you get back to running what ever your distance goal may be.

And, last but certainly not least, is the FAAOMPT designation. Jeff is one of only 4 PTs in Lane county (only 21 in Oregon and less than 500 in the country) who have achieved this highly respected level of training.

Well, I know that was a bit of alphabet soup to wade through but we hope it sheds some light on the wide range of specialty certifications the Physical Therapists at Eugene Physical Therapy possess and how these advanced training programs can best serve you.

We sincerely hope we get the chance to help you regain your function soon.