Whether it’s about posture, a specific functional movement, or a series of exercises, we train movement with all of our clients. Our bodies rely on movement for survival and quality of life. In Physical Therapy, we work with clients to recover their movement that was affected by an injury, illness, or disease.
Our goal is to improve how you heal so you can getting back to the way you want to live your life. We use our understanding of normal movement during activity and how underlying factors create a loss of function.
The way we look at how people move can broken down into 2 categories:
- The movement of the body that you see
- The movement of the body that you don’t see
It’s the job of the Physical Therapist to create changes to the body on the inside to produce the results of movement that you can see from the outside.
What types of movements do we train?
- Range of motion
- Joint mobility
- Self-myofascial release
What functional movements do we train?
- Walking and climbing stairs
- Getting down and up from the floor
- Getting in and out of bed
- Sitting and standing
- Standing up from a chair
- Stepping in and out of the shower
- Climbing in and out of a vehicle
- Squatting, kneeling, and lunging
- Lifting and lowering objects
- Reaching and bending
- Pushing and pulling
- Putting on and off socks, shoes, shirt, pants, belt, and coat
- Running, jumping, and pivoting
What activities are clients returning to?
How do we test and measure movement?
We use special tools to test and measure movement. For example we will measure the arc of movement in degrees for a joint or a muscle using a goniometer. This is protractor for the body.
One of the greatest tools a PT can use is their hands. Strength is measured by a technique called Manual Muscle Testing. This is when the PT will ask you to “hold your arm up in the air and resist against the pressure from my hand”. This is rated on scale 0-5 where 0 means no muscle action and 5 means normal strength.
Two specific tools we use for to measure functional strength in active clients include the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Test Kit and the Y-Balance Test Kit. These standardized tests have been studied and found to be effective to identifying weak points of movement during high-level functions of the muscles and joints.