FMT Evaluation & Treatment
The Functional Manual Therapy™ system, is a holistic system of patient care which grew from Gregg and Vicky’s passion to provide Physical Therapy that was more than just exercise and modalities. Early in their professional career, Gregg and Vicky worked with several of the pioneers of Holistic Health Medicine in the US. This professional association inspired Gregg and Vicky to apply the philosophy of “holistic health” to the treatment of physical pain and disability. Just as these physicians’ goals were to facilitate optimum health, as part of the team, Gregg and Vicky’s goals were to facilitate optimum physical function. A Functional Manual Therapist’s skills of observation and palpation serve as the foundation to identify underlying limitations and compensations which contribute to your primary pain or dysfunction and/or impair proper healing following an injury or surgery. Functional Manual Therapists possess the ability to see potential in a patient and specifically identify and correct the factors limiting this potential.
Functional Manual Therapy™ Approach
Goal Oriented - Integrated - Function Based
EXTENSIVE EVALUATION: GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Your pain, injury, or limited function is like a story. It has a beginning and a course that reveals underlying mysteries which help to define your current condition. Taking an effective subjective evaluation requires your therapist to ask many questions, some of which you may not immediately correlate to your presenting symptoms. But, the research shows that an advanced Physical Therapist utilizes pattern recognition, which develops from information gathering and progresses more proficiently to effective treatment than an inexperienced therapist. The root of a successful treatment for a complex problem is fully understanding your life, your activities, your health habits, and even what you eat. So, be prepared for an extensive evaluation the first time you are seen and know that the knowledge gained will greatly enhance the success of the subsequent treatments.
To supplement the knowledge gained from the subjective evaluation, your therapist will take you through a reenactment of pain producing positions and actions. You may be asked to walk or roll to reveal neuromuscular and mechanical limitations that are contributing to your presenting symptoms. Once your therapist completes this aspect of your evaluation, he or she will progress with a tissue specific assessment of your body’s mobility, manual neuromuscular functional analysis, and observation of your habitual postures and movements. To better understand how your environment contributes to your pain or dysfunction, the therapist will also discuss your work, home, or recreational activities and ergonomic factors in each of these settings
The Goal: To establish a baseline from which to monitor and recognize pain reduction and functional improvement with treatment.
The success of your treatments at IPA is dependent on your knowledge of your body and an understanding of the complexity and multiplicity of factors which can be contributing to your pain or inefficient function.
The IPA treatment system of Functional Manual Therapy™ (FMT) is both fun and successful. It is fun, as we explore together all the systems of your body, and discover which ones are working well and which ones have existing potential to work better. It is successful, as when we treat your body with an intention to see beyond the pain and go for total body optimum function, we not only resolve your pain or limitation, but we reveal to you your existing potential.
So, how do we actually do this? We utilize advanced skills of palpation, mobilization, muscle activation, and motor control training. What makes our skills advanced? As Malcolm Gladwell stated in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. All Certified Functional Manual Therapists have completed thousands of hours palpating and treating every tissue accessible to the human touch in the body. And they have practiced over and over again on individuals that can guide and direct them to know what they are touching and what they are feeling. For a FMT, the human body is like a book in Brail and each FMT has dedicated years to develop the touch and sensitivity to read your body.
The Functional Manual Therapy™ Treatment system is founded on a comprehensive and unique clinical reasoning algorithm knows as M-N-M. This effective system addresses the inter-relationship between the Mechanical capacity of your body's tissues, your Neuromuscular function, and the brain's Motor control of how you move. Restoring efficiency to these interconnected systems enhances efficient function and gives you a body that works for you in rest, play, work, and recreation. Below is a brief overview of how we do that at IPA.
Mobility and Mechanical Capacity
Your body is a matrix of tissues that are interwoven all the way from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. This interconnectivity is not only linear, but three dimensional. The skin of your neck is connected to the skin of your legs, and the fascia and extra-cellular matrix throughout your body connects the skin to your muscles, your nerves, even your internal organs. So, in a simplistic explanation, if there is a lack of mobility in any of these tissues, that loss of mobility can cause a change in function in throughout your M-N-M systems. It is essential that your therapist trace and isolate the restrictions associated with your presenting symptoms to identify any associated limitations anywhere.
At IPA, we restore efficient mobility to the tissues of your body utilizing Joint, Soft Tissue, Neural, and Visceral Functional Mobilization™. These unique, highly effective techniques of Functional Manual Therapy™ combine an in-depth knowledge of anatomy with advanced palpation and mobilization skills to effectively restore mobility by coupling specific movements with localized pressure at the exact point of restriction. Using your active movements or muscular contractions to enhance the mobilization not only restores mobility, but facilitates an immediate retraining of the muscles and the brain's integration of the new mobility into function.
In some cases we will use Resisted Enhanced Manipulation (REM) for achieving quick changes in mobility and function. Our manipulation approach is unique in that we perform manipulations utilizing a light patient driven muscle contraction which functions to stabilize the joints surrounding the targeted area. This is called a Resisted Enhanced Manipulation (REM). We believe this is a safer and more accurate way to increase the mobility of the body through joint manipulations.
Research reveals that limited mobility can impact the ability of your muscles to actually function with appropriate strength and endurance. AND, more important, the first muscles usually to stop working are the core muscles. This causes your big muscles, known as your global muscles, to over work. When the core muscles become inefficient and the global muscles overwork, you develop movement patterns that allow you to function, but create movement patterns that add additional stress to joints and tissues already damaged or dysfunctional. It is imperative that once we restore mobility, we restore the ability for the right muscles to contract at the right time. Therefore, we manually assess the functional firing patterns of your muscles, ensure that the core muscles throughout your body CAN fire, and finally develop an exercise program to best facilitate appropriate strength and endurance for all your daily activities. This aspect of you care requires the advanced skills of a CFMT who has completed specialized training in manual neuromuscular evaluation and facilitation.
RETRAIN THE BRAIN...RESTORE CONTROL
Just because your body has mobility and muscle function, does not mean you will automatically begin sleeping, standing, sitting, or moving in a way that supports the health of all your tissues and allows you to function efficiently. Some of us have never had “good posture” and many of us move in ways that are not optimum. Complete rehabilitation as well as prevention, requires that we train you to have optimum posture which supports CoreFirst™ strategies for your activities of daily living. This training, known as motor learning, ensures that you have effective Motor Control or the brain’s ability to automatically, without thought or effort, control your physical actions. Think of learning to play a sport. First you need to make sure you have the flexibility and strength to do the sport, then you begin the on-going process of breaking down the sport into small, learnable movements, and slowly put these movement together into the activity of the sport. Living life with physical efficiency is the most important sport you will ever play.
Motor Learning is the most critical aspect of your care. This is where you take responsibility. We can mobilize and exercise your body, but only you can retrain your brain. This aspect of care is worth the time it takes to teach you new postures and movement strategies and motor control exercises that ensure these postures and movements become automatic. Our state of the art CoreFirst™ Back Education and Training empowers each of our patients with the knowledge of how to care for his/her body, develop efficient function, and prevent future injury.