Wednesday, 6 June 2012

500words on...Performance Therapy

Doc G and Flash

‘Functional Movement’ can be defined as the unique movement repertoire of an individual performed in its normal state. Relating this definition to sport, and applying it to the treatment of athletes, functional movement therapy (or, what I call, ‘Performance Therapy’) can be described as an attempt to normalize function by integrating the therapeutic intervention into the athlete’s sporting movement - i.e. the warm-up and training session.

By integrating mobility and stability intervention (‘the treatment’) into the training environment, we positively affect motor control, and thus lend permanence to the intervention that would not exist if these were treated separately.

We are very lucky to have a number of skilled therapists working with us at Lee Valley (including fellow Canadian, Dr Gerry Ramogida, above treating Christian Malcolm prior to today's training session). Our therapists, in concert with the coach, put the athlete through a daily movement screen; however, while traditional movement screens normally focus on moments in movements, the minutiae of movement, and movements that are outside the athlete’s normal sporting experience, we prefer to use the actual sporting movement itself to screen our athletes.

The coach-therapist partnership continues throughout the training session, as the difference between ‘mechanical-movement dysfunction’ and ‘technical fault’ is often difficult to observe; the distinction between the two is the driver of any intervention: a technical cue for a mechanical-movement dysfunction can only lead to further compensatory patterning; while an acute therapeutic intervention of a technical fault may affect an otherwise finely-balanced mobility-stability equilibrium – each enhancing any injury risk.

Look for further discussion of Performance Therapy on future blogs....

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