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Rehabilitating movement patterns. Why and how?

A big part of what we do at The Physiotherapy Clinic in the Shire (Woolooware), Bondi Junction and Cammeray is look at how people move.  


Working on how you move and rehabilitating your movement patterns can be an essential part of improving your symptoms.   


We aim to get people moving as optimally as possible, so that all parts of your body can work together to achieve your goal.  


Why do people adopt certain movement patterns?   



Commonly people adopt a certain movement pattern because of pain or discomfort. For example if you have a sore left hip, you might start to put extra weight onto your right leg. This can become problematic when your left hip pain improves, but you keep loading up your right side.   


Learned behaviour:  

You may have been taught or told to move in a certain way. For example someone with back pain may have been told NOT to bend, but to stay straight and upright. This may be appropriate when you first have an acute injury, but as your symptoms improve you need to get back to moving normally. Your back is designed to bend, and if you hold it stiff and straight all the time it can lead to discomfort.   


Path of least resistance:   

Sometimes it is just feels like the easiest way to do something. For example when you stand on one leg, it might feel easier to shift your shoulders and upper to the side and lock your knees and hips to perform the movement. This allows you to perform the task, but it doesn’t allow you to have any variability and reduces your stability.   

Common movement patterns we look at:   


Squat: Being able to squat is essential for every day, functional tasks. We commonly see that people tend to tighten their low backs and load up their knees when performing this task. Often we start to work on this movement by teaching people how to hinge from their hips. This can help them to recruit their gluteals and allows them to spread the load of the task through the body.    

Walking: Commonly we see people leaning back wards when they take a step forward. Often this occurs on the side of a symptoms E.g. if they have right hip pain and  they tend to lean back when stepping forward with their right leg.   

In this case we may cue someone to move forwards from their chest, so they can land nicely on that leg.   


How do we rehabilitate movement?   

Often we need to break down a movement into smaller components. This way we can work on each part of the movement and target certain deficits that may be contributing.   

For example the squat.  

  • We might start by working on your ability to find neutral with your pelvis and lumbar spine  

  • Then we may practice being able to hinge from your hips.   

  • This could be progressed to doing a sit to stand from a chair  

  • Then put into a full squat.   

Our physios in the Shire (Woolooware), Bondi Junction and Cammeray are trained at rehabilitating movement - it is what we love to do and what we do well! Reach out. 

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