Refining Movement to Enhance Performance: Why Tailored Care Matters
by Claire Golding, PT, DPT
February 2, 2024
To categorize an activity as functional, there is an underlying implication of purpose. As individuals, functional movement is any movement that increases quality of life. Whether it be transitioning in and out of the car, sprinting down a field, unloading the dishwasher, or lifting an overhead load, these activities consist of fundamental movements that require a combination of both mobility and stability. While function looks different for each individual, the principle truths and vital components of mobilityand stabilitythat influence the way we move remain the same.
Back in November, I attended a continuing education course by the Gray Institute called 3D Maps: Applied Functional Science. “3D MAPS is a movement analysis and performance system that equips movement professionals with evidence-based content in order to assist patients in meeting their goals. This course utilizes the unique and three dimensional aspects of human movement in an effort to efficiently and effectively enhance the fundamental movements needed to improve performance.”
Human movement can be summarized by the body's ability to perform (mobility) and control (stability) a motion that occurs within the three planes of movement. Functional science, then, is defined as the study of human movement. I chose this course because it coincides with my perception of movement based therapy and challenges me to bridge the gap between dysfunction and functional movement. While the foundations of movement are “simple”, the individualized ways in which we move are not. Tailoring a plan of care is challenging, yet rewarding. It requires constant assessment, analysis, and critical thinking. However, it is these components of physical therapy that drew me to the field and have kept me passionate in my journey. This course equipped me with the resources to break down the foundations of movement, assess individual movement patterns, and address quality, function, and performance in a skilled, evidence-based and tailored way
- So what do we know?
Functional movement enhances quality of life.
Mobility and stability are the foundations of movement.
Better mobility and stability symmetrically will improve performance.
- How can a physical therapist help me enhance my performance?
As movement professionals, we are trained in what normal movement should look like. We have the assessment skills to analyze the core principles of mobility and stability, and have the creative freedom to improve individual performance by maximizing the relationship between the two. The therapists at Physiolete are equipped with an understanding of the foundations that influence and enhance movement. Our comprehensive educational background gives us an understanding of the principle truths that influence movement. In assessing and intervening, we comprehend the principle truths of both physical and biological sciences and the impact they have on movement. Our awareness of the combined relationship between gravity, mass and momentum, and the nuances of the role that muscles, joints, and proprioceptors play equips us to assess movement quality, address specific deficits, and improve the three dimensional, chain reaction that is movement.
Our job, as physical therapists, is to enhance your quality of life by improving the manner in which you perform the tasks that give you purpose, bring you joy, and make you the best version of yourself.