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  • Writer's pictureDr. Frank Wen, DC

How Well Do You Move?

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

For so long, the typical treatment protocol for many musculoskeletal issues has simply been do something to treat the pain and follow up with strengthening exercises in the region in hopes of keeping the pain from coming back. In the example of low back pain, it has typically been to perform spinal manipulation and follow up with core strengthening and stability exercises. However, I’ve seen first-hand and in research that yoga and massage have also been helpful in reducing low back pain as well.

Think about that for a minute. While yoga certainly has aspects of strength and stability, it is synonymous with flexibility much like massage is. That forces the astute practitioner to ask: Is the problem a mobility issue, or is it a strength issue? Have we been overlooking something when we treat patients?

In my search for answers as well as my desire to bring sound and novel ways to help patients, I was lead to the Selective Functional Movement Screen or SFMA as I discussed in my last post. The SFMA is built on the idea of regional interdependence- nothing more than a fancy way of saying that one area of the body can be affected by another part. While the concept is not new, and movement screens have been around for ages, the SFMA offers systematic way of looking at breaking down a person's movement patterns, especially in the presence of pain. It creates a well-organized framework to marry movement with orthopedic and biomechanical testing in a way that the clinician and patient can see and understand. Because of this, it also helps to better guide treatment so that we are not always chasing symptoms, but addressing the root cause. One of the hallmarks of the SFMA is that it prioritizes fixing mobility issues before adding strength and stability because we don't want to strengthen our dysfunctions.

So in the example of the low back pain problem, the SFMA forces us to consider mobility as part of the problem because low back pain can be both a mobility and a strength issue.

If you’re seeking a comprehensive and detailed Kirkland chiropractor, contact me today.

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