Dec 27, 2013

My SFMA: A Case Study - Upper Extremity Breakouts

Today's post is the third part of my self-SFMA(Selective Functional Movement Assessment) case study series.  Specifically, We will look at and break out any dysfunctional upper extremity movement patterns from my SFMA Top Tier Post.  

In the first post/video, I was dysfunctional/non-painful (DN) for the Upper Extremity Pattern One (Combination of Extension/Adduction/Internal Rotation of the shoulder).  However, I was functional/non-painful (FN) for Upper Extremity Pattern Two (Combination of Flexion/Abduction/External Rotation of the shoulder). In case you missed it, here are the 7 top tier tests again. You can also check out the cervical spine patterns and breakout assessment here.

Dec 24, 2013

Top 5 Posts of 2013!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all of my readers! I'm not sure if I actually have any dedicated readers yet but happy holidays to any happenstance readers as well! This post is a highlight of my top 5 viewed posts of 2013. I know it isn't technically 2014 yet so maybe I will be proved wrong. However, if you are new to my blog or haven't read all of my posts then maybe this recap will enlighten you to a popular post that you missed.

Dec 16, 2013

My SFMA: A Case Study - Cervical Breakouts

Time to make an assessment of myself

Today's post is second part of my self-SFMA(Selective Functional Movement Assessment) case study series.  Specifically, We will look at the dysfunctional cervical spine movement patterns from my SFMA Top Tier Post.  In the first post/video, I was dysfunctional/non-painful (DN) for the Cervical Flexion Pattern, and the Cervical Rotation Pattern to both the Right & Left.  However, I was functional/non-painful (FN) for Cervical Extension. In case you missed it, here is the 7 top tier tests again.

The SFMA works by assessing 7 general top tier movement tests. From there you perform a "breakout" of each dysfunctional pattern to determine the cause of dysfunction. Dysfunction movement patterns are broken down using an algorithm that funnels and filters the problem into either a mobility dysfunction or a stability &/or motor control dysfunction (SMCD).

This video will look at the dysfunctional cervical spine patterns. Specifically, cervical flexion and cervical rotation to the left and right. I was functional for the cervical extension pattern so that pattern does not require a breakout assessment. Here is the breakout video:

Cervical Flexion Top Tier = DN (Unable to bring chin to sternum. Why? We don't know yet.)

Active Supine Cervical Flexion Test = DN (Still Unable to bring chin to sternum. Why? We don't know yet.)
If I was now FN we would know that there is a postural and motor control dysfunction or stability/motor control dysfunction...or both, affecting cervical flexion. This includes the c-spine, T-spine, and shoulder girdle postural dysfunction. Laying supine removed the postural and stability requirements of the gravity dependent/loaded standing position from the top-tier tests

Passive Supine Cervical Flexion Test = FN (Chin is now to sternum)
We can now assume the cause of the dysfunction was due to an active cervical spine flexion stability dysfunction or motor control dysfunction...or both. We know it is not a mobility issue because I had full motion when all stability and motor control requirements were removed and the movement was performed passively. If it was due to mobility reasons then my GF would not have been able to passively bring my chin to my chest. Mobility problems always present with consistent findings!

Cervical Rotation Top Tier = DN to the Left & Right (Can not rotate chin to mid-clavicle or at least 80 degrees, Why? We don't know yet)
This test no longer requires this degree of rotation and the ability to bring the chin to the clavicle, at least this is how I was instructed in October of 2013.

Active Supine Cervical Rotation Test = FN (At least 80 degrees of rotation bilaterally without a significant asymmetry)
We now know that the dysfunction was related to a postural and motor control dysfunction or a stability and motor control dysfunction...or both. This is why my top tier cervical spine rotation test was dysfunctional, not because of my perceived tissue "tightness."

It is said that there are many ways to skin a cat...that being said the SFMA is a tool or a system of assessment. It is not a specific approach to treatment. However, there are general guidelines based off of the findings and it also lays a road map of treatment for you(eg. mobility before stability, working your way down the top tier tests). Specifically, in my case I do not have any mobility dysfunctions within the cervical spine but if I follow the philosophy of the SFMA then I need to address the SMCD of the cervical flexion pattern before attempting to correct SMCD dysfunction of the cervical rotation.

There are many avenues for treating this dysfunction from dry needling to IASTM to MDT principles to using the 4x4 Matrix or etc. I can't advocate that one approach will be better for addressing my dysfunction than another...but I do have a system of assessment to judge the efficacy of each potential intervention. Perhaps IASTM and MDT combined will work great for 90% of my patients but I don't know that...all I need to know is how to assess-intervene-reassess. Oh and I should probably stay within my practice act, so use what tools you have and those that you are comfortable with.

Thoughts? Do you think my breakouts and assessment have been accurate so far? What would you do with me? I know what I would do....finish the SFMA breakouts, first. Come back as I continue to break out my many dysfunctional movement patterns.

Dec 10, 2013

My SFMA: A Case Study - Pt. I

Howdy again Readers! Today will be the first part of a series of posts that I am lamely labeling "My SFMA." Each post will feature a video related to my own personal Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). Today's video will showcase my own seven top tier SFMA tests. Each additional blogpost and video will showcase a single dysfunctional top tier test derived from this initial video. In those videos I will perform the appropriate breakouts according to the SFMA to determine the reason for failing each individual top tier test and will discuss ways of treating these issues.

The idea behind this came from the fact that I am going to start increasing my physical activity levels, getting into better shape, and eventually getting back to marathon training. Working on preventing injuries is always easier than taking time away from exercise or training to work on treating injuries.

I also thought that doing this would help me to practice more with the SFMA system and will allow me to receive guidance or feedback from others with experience using the SFMA. If you watched the video it is obvious that I have a lot of preventing...or maybe I should say correcting to do. To find out and discuss what/how I should address, don't forget to come back for part II!

Dec 8, 2013

Three Tips to Improve Posture

Howdy Readers! It has been a busy couple of months and I just finished my second to last semester of graduate school. (Yay!) I am hoping that I can start to get into the habit of rolling out more blog posts but I am not sure how the next semester will go considering that I will begin data collection for my thesis study.

Today's post will be the first step at getting back into the blogging groove and it will be a short and sweet post about posture. Posture is often discussed, known about by everyone but truly ignored by most in practice. Modern society and modern technology has really been a detriment to proper posture and promotes rounded shoulders, forward head posture, excessive kyphosis (hunch back) of the thoracic spine and excessive lordosis of the lumbar spine. None of these thing postural abnormalities are helping you out as an athlete, runner or human.

Poor posture can reduce breathing capacity, contribute to muscle imbalances, decrease power and performance. and result in injury.  To help combat this issue I am going to give you all three simple things that you can incorporate into your daily life to work on improving posture.


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