Functional movement is the ability to properly use the muscles and joints to move the body effortlessly and without pain. It is critical to avoiding injury, whether participating in sports or simply going through the activities of daily living.
To understand functional movement, think of your body as an elaborate system of levers and pulleys. Poor posture and bad habits, as well as injuries and trauma, can throw that system out of whack, placing additional stressors on the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Over time, these additional stressors can further tax the system, leading to even more pain and further reducing your range of motion.
What is functional movement training?
Functional movement training helps you unlearn bad habits and retrains your body’s muscles and joints to work together in a healthier way. Functional movement training uses muscles in the upper and lower body simultaneously, emphasizing core strength and efficiency of movement. Your physical therapist may use a variety of tools to assist with your training. Fitness balls, weights, and kettle balls are just a few examples.
Your functional movement journey will begin with a comprehensive evaluation. Your physical therapist will go through your health history with you, including a detailed analysis of the issues you currently face and any recent injuries or illnesses that may have contributed to the problem. You might be asked to perform specific movements to allow your therapist to better understand your existing range of motion and the ways you move.
Fortunately, functional movement training can help virtually everyone. Regardless of your current level of fitness, or the problems that got you to this point, improving your biomechanics can bring dramatic pain relief and reduce the risk of injuring yourself in the future. Your physical therapist will create a personalized treatment plan based on the results of your assessment and your unique needs.