Functional movement assessments for practitioners

Looking at the body anatomically is not the problem—letting anatomy create short-sighted approaches to performance is, said Robert Silverman, DC, MS, CNS, CSCS, CKTP, CES, CIISN, DACBN, HKC, SASTM, during a live seminar December 9-10 in Portland, Maine.

Movement patterns start in the brain, and therefore chiropractic therapies must focus on everything that contributes to movement—not just the muscular system, but the nervous system, too.

Silverman offers four steps to address movement with patients:

  1. Identify the affected structures
  2. Determine changes in motion patterns
  3. Determine affected kinetic chains
  4. Apply corrective treatment, exercise, and motor control protocols

Pain is a symptom, but practitioners must treat systems, says Silverman. "Don't treat the site of the pain," he says, "treat the source of the pain."

To analyze movement, Silverman uses his "magnificient 7" functional movement assessment, which incorporates seven exercises ranging from posture analyses to push-ups:

  • Posture/pain
  • Overhead squat
  • One-legged squat
  • Trunk stability push-up
  • Valgus jump text
  • Upper/lower muscle firing patterns
  • Push-up

These exercises reveal the functionality of systems, both in muscular ability and the brain's ability to effectively communicate with the muscles to produce movement. This communication will be impaired if injury or significant stress is present.