If you made it this far into the site, you probably have at least some interest in learning more about how I can help you and how I go about it. This upcoming series of posts will describe some of the systems that shape how I treat patients. Of course many people couldn't care less about the minutiae as long as it works, but I know there are some readers out there who may be interested in learning more of the background that informs the treatment they might receive.
Dynamic Neuromsucular Stabilization. (DNS) – a treatment approach out of the Prague School of Rehabilitation based on developmental kinesiology. Basically DNS operates on the principle thatcertain movements are “pre-downloaded” into our nervous system. No one has to tell a baby how to suck its thumb, roll over, chew, swallow, move its eyes, stand, walk and many other key developmental milestones.
When problems arise later in life, the ability to access these “files” can provide incredible outcomes in recapturing movement and behavior that was seemingly lost. As such, during rehab, we’re not trying to force the body to do anything truly novel, we’re simply helping it reengage with something it already knows how to do. Learning DNS principles not only helps with the application of DNS methodology, it also explains why other successful approaches are also effective.
Functional Movement Systems (Functional Movement Screen and Selective Functional Movement Assessment) – The FMS is a battery of seven screens based on key movement patterns within the developmental process that help identify where deficits may exist in how our body moves. Fundamentally, it looks at reaching, kicking, pressing, rotation, stepping, landing and changing levels. Identifying limitations in any of these domains allows us to address the individual’s weak links that may interfere with the training process or simply with quality of life.
At its most basic level, the FMS takes our focus away from parts and guides our attention toward patterns. After identifying patterns, we can then peel away the layers and focus on details, but only after an appreciation of how the body interacts with itself and its environment as a while.
The Selective Functional Movement Assessment is the clinical analog to the Functional Movement Screen. If someone presents with pain, then the SFMA is the proper channel to guide the process of reaching a functional diagnosis.
(Note the difference between a functional and structural diagnosis. Structural diagnosis might be patellar tendinitis. Functional diagnosis example would be limited ability to squat (change levels) as a result of insufficient ankle dorsiflexion.
Allan Phillips, PT, DPT is owner of Ventana Physiotherapy