Pat Davidson’s Rethinking the Big Patterns Course Review

I recently attended a class put on my dear friend Pat Davidson, a phenomenal strength coach and lecturer out of NYC.

Yes, you did just see this

I’ve had many thought provoking conversations with Pat over the years, but this was the first time that I got to hear him teach.

And whoa is all I have to say.

With his knowledge, speaking style, and adeptness at mixing theoretical and practical application, Pat is one of the most engaging speakers I have come across in recent years.

Pat is one of those people that you have to check out. Period. ’nuff said.

When he’s not moving heavy weight, you can find Pat on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

I’d also be remiss to not gave a shout out to Dave Rascoe for making the entire trip and course possible. You are a dear friend, and glad you reached out to me earlier in the year.

I also must give a shout out to all the wonderful people who I finally got a chance to meet in person, including Lucy Hendricks (thx for helping me wake the sleeping giant called my right butt), D-Wil and Tom Cooper for the greatest training session of my life, Aaron Davis for sparking me to think about a wide variety of things, Brenda Gregory for #explaininglabs and being awesome, Paul Monje for teaching me about all things video , Teo for being the man, Patrick, Michael, and many more.

Fam recognize fam

Check out the video review below, and once you’ve done that, check out my notes.

For those who missed the live course, THE ENTIRE SEMINAR will be available for digital purchase sometime in February, along with Pat’s new website. I’ll keep y’all posted as to when that happens.

Continue reading “Pat Davidson’s Rethinking the Big Patterns Course Review”

How to Design a Comprehensive Rehab Program

Just when I thought I was out, the clinic pulls me back in.

Though I’m glad to be back. There’s just a different vibe, different pace, and ever-constant variety of challenges that being in the clinic simply provides. This has been especially true working in a rural area. You see a much wider variety, which challenges you to broaden your skillset.

I’m amazed at how much working in the NBA has changed the way I approach the clinic.

Previously, I was all about getting people in and out of the door as quickly as possible; and with very few visits. I would cut them down to once a week or every other week damn-near immediately, and try to hit that three to five visit sweet spot.

This strategy no doubt worked, and people got better, but I had noticed I’d get repeat customers. Maybe it wasn’t the area that was initially hurting them, but they still were having trouble creep up. Or maybe it was the same pain, just taking much more activity to elicit the sensation.

It became clear that I was skipping steps to try and get my visit number low, when in reality I was doing a disservice to my patients. This was the equivalent of fast food PT—give them the protein, carbohydrates, and fats, forget about the vitamins and minerals.

If fast food PT fits your macros tho right?!?!

Was getting someone out the door in 3 visits for me or for them? The younger, big ass ego me, wanted to known as the guy who got people better faster than everyone else. Yet the pursuit became detrimental to the patient’s best interest. There were so many other ways I could impact a patient’s overall health that I simply sacrificed in place of speed.

I only got them to survive without pushing them to thrive.

I see a lot of individuals proudly proclaim how many visits it takes for them to get someone out of pain, but pain relief is only part of the equation. There are so many more qualities we can address before we consider a rehab program a success.

This stark realization has reconceptualized how I structure a weekly rehab program. I now emphasize all qualities necessary to return to whatever task the patient desires, and attempt to inspire them beyond those initial goals.

You want to know what my visit average is right now?

I stopped counting, and started treating.

Let’s look designing the rehab week to take your clients to the next level.

Continue reading “How to Design a Comprehensive Rehab Program”

Workers’ Compensation, Dealing with Late Patients, Fall Prevention, & More – Movement Debrief Episode 9

Episode 9 was a long one, and I’m so sad if you missed it live.

Here were some of the topics:

  1. The necessary organizational fix to worker’s compensation
  2. Ways physical therapists can have patients simulate work
  3. Targeting educational-specific impairments
  4. The need to expand scope or collaborate to help clients thrive
  5. How to deal with patients who are always late and don’t do their exercises
  6. Working on getting up off the ground after a fall

If you want to watch these live, add me on Facebook or Instagram. They air every Wednesday at 8:30pm CST.


Return to Play after a 5th Metatarsal Fracture – Case Report

I was recently featured on my buddy Scott Gray’s podcast,  a great clinician in the Florida area who I have a lot of respect for.

Before we dive into the podcast, let me tell you a bit about why I like this guy so much.

It’s not just because he is a part of the IFAST family.

I’ve been going back to the basics as of late, reviewing concepts such as tissue pathology, anatomy, surgical procedures, and the like.

If there is anyone who has the fundamentals down savagely well, it is Scott Gray.

He put out an Ebook called “The Physical Examination Blueprint”, which you can download by subscribing to his newsletter. Here he details all the essentials on screening your patients.

To me, the most important aspect of patient care is knowing who you can and cannot treat. Stratifying your patients based on who needs to be referred out, and who you can help is essential to providing the best care.

Quite simply, there are few better resources out there that outline how to do this than Scott’s ebook.

In it, he delves into what relevant questions to ask, tests to perform, and establishing a relevant diagnosis. Often underlooked, yet exceptionally important components of the clinical examination.

Again, I cannot recommend Scott’s ebook and site enough. It’s a great resource for many things PT, including many of his eclectic and unique manual therapy techniques. Definitely check this guy out.

Rehabbing a 5th Metatarsal Fracture to High Level Basketball

In this podcast, I outline a case I worked on back when I was in the NBA D League. 

This kid suffered a distal 5th metatarsal fracture with only a couple minutes to spare in a game. It was a brutal injury after one of the worst games in my life that I experienced, namely because we had three guys go down in one game.

Talk about awful.

I outline my entire process and every detail of what I did to get this kid back to high level basketball. A process that started with a fracture and ended with him establishing a franchise rebounding record the last game of the season. Pretty spectacular to say the least.

I feel very fortunate to have worked with such a driven and hardworking guy, and ultimately that was what his success hinged upon. Though minor, it was an honor to be this guy’s guide back to high level performance.

In this podcast, we dive into the following topics:

  • Immediate post-injury rehabilitation
  • Post-surgical care
  • The non-weight bearing phase
  • The weight bearing phase
  • Return to play Criteria
  • Return to performance criteria
  • Acute:chronic workload monitoring

Again, thank you to Scott Gray for featuring me on the podcast. I had a blast doing it.

If you’d like to download this podcast and get my free acute:chronic workload calculator that I used with this patient, subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here or simply fill out the form below.

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How to Treat Pain with Sitting – A Case Study

Case studies are much more valuable than many give credit for.

It is this type of study that can often lead to sweeping changes in how further research is conducted, often create paradigm shifts in their own right.

After all, there was only one Patient H.M.

One thing that I wish I saw more in case studies was the clinician’s thought process. Why did they elect to do this treatment over that, what were they thinking when they saw this? How do they tick?

I was fortunate enough to have an online client of mine suggest to that I make her a case study, and it was a very rewarding experience on both fronts.

My hope is that you can see how a clinician thinks first-hand, and see the challenges a clinician faces…

When you can’t work with your hands.

Continue reading “How to Treat Pain with Sitting – A Case Study”

Master Sagittal Plane, Coaching Progressions, Detaching, & TFL Inhibition – Movement Debrief Episode 5

Did you miss Movement Debrief live yesterday? Though much more fun live, I have a video of what we discussed below.

This debrief was quite fun, as we had an impromptu viewer q&a. Thank you Alan Luzietti for the awesome questions! If you follow along live on Facebook or Youtube, I will do my best to answer any questions you ask.

Yesterday we discussed the following topics:

  1. Why you should emphasize sagittal plane activities longer than you think
  2. How to coach exercises to maximize client learning and compliance
  3. Why detaching from your client encounters makes you a better clinician
  4. Viewer Q&A – “centering from the chaos” & TFL Inhibition

Lastly, if you want the acute:chronic workload calculator I spoke about, click here.

Without further ado:

Course Notes: Postural Respiration

Another Course in the Books

As an official Ron Hruska groupie, the tour continued to the Big Apple to learn a little Postural Respiration.

And in NYC, everything is bigger.

And sooo tasty
And sooo tasty

The biggest city I had prior been exposed to was Chicago. The cities feel similar, only NYC has twice as many people on the same size streets.

I felt like this course was one of my less understood areas in the system, as Respiration was my first live PRI course. Taking this class the second time around really cleaned up a lot of things for me, and Ron was on point as always.

So let’s dive into the cranium…I mean pelvis….I mean thorax. Oh sorry, wrong course.

If we only both had this much hair.
If we only both had this much hair.

Laying the Foundation

 The three foundational courses aim to inhibit tone, twist, torque, and tension in the human system by various methods.

In Myokinematic Restoration, mastering the frontal plane with both legs inhibits the system.

In Pelvis Restoration, active leg adduction inhibits the system.

In Postural Respiration, trunk rotation inhibits the system.

When these powers combine, the goal is to simultaneously maximize phases of gait and respiration. This development allows for total-body freedom to move, breathe, live, and create amidst our incessant desire to run on our built-in right stance autopilot.

There is nothing wrong with right stance, but it becomes wrong when it is all you know.

“There is nothing wrong with half the gait cycle until it becomes the full gait cycle.” ~Ron Hruska.

Unless this is your gait cycle.
Unless this is your gait cycle.

Make a Memory – The Zone of Apposition 

Zone – An area that serves a particular purpose

Apposition – The condition of being side-to-side or close to one another.

With these definitions in mind, the zone of apposition (ZOA) is the cylindrical aspect of the diaphragm that lies next to the inner aspect of the lower mediastinal wall.

Since there are few proprioceptors in the diaphragm itself, the ZOA is largely influenced by ribcage orientation. The ZOA flattens if the ribs are elevated, anterior, and in external rotation; and domes in the converse. To maximize respiratory capacity, this space must be persevered at all costs via the rib’s governor—the abdominals.

“You can take my eye before my ZOA.” ~Ron Hruska

Respiratory Influences

 There are many ways that our respiratory system can be influenced. Here are some of the more important ones to think about:

Static asymmetry

  • Right diaphragm (respiratory) is large than the left (postural)
  • Right vagus nerve is longer than the left

Dynamic asymmetry

  • Better lumbopelvic stability on right
  • Left thoracoabdominal rotation
  • Reach with right
  • Better Right ZOA to improve left chest expansion

Breathing discord

  • Limited left hemidiaphragm respiratory function
  • Decreased right chest wall mobility
  • Increased accessory breathing muscle use
  • hyperinflation

Abdominal disuse

  • Eccentric-oriented rectus abdominis
  • Weak obliques and transversus abdominis
  • Wide infrasternal angles
  • Unilateral or bilateral rib flares

Parafunctional habits

  • Being right-sided creatures
  • Poor sitting positions
  • Mouth breathing
I don't mouth breathe. It's a disgusting habit.
I don’t mouth breathe. It’s a disgusting habit.

The Result = the Pattern

Factor in the above influences with countless others, we begin to love right mid-stance, aka the left AIC pattern. The left AIC consists of:

  • The left innominate being anteriorly tipped and forwardly rotated.
  • The left lumbar spine being lordotic.
  • The spine being right oriented.

But what happens at the thorax?

The Brachial Chain

 The right and left brachial chain (BC) consist consists of the following muscles:

  • Anterolateral intercostals
  • Deltoid
  • Pecs
  • Sibson’s fascia
  • Triangularis sterni
  • Sternocleidomastoid
  • Scalene
  • Diaphragm


When the left AIC pulls me into right stance, the right BC compensates to view the environment in the following manner:

  • The left ribs externally rotate; the right ribs internally rotate to center the body.
  • The thorax abducts to the right and begins rotating to the left (still right-oriented).
  • The left scapula is oriented in elevation and adduction; downward and external rotation; appearing retracted.
  • The right scapula is oriented in abduction and depression; upward and internally rotated; appearing protracted.
  • In the case of the superior T4 syndrome, the right scapula could appear retracted by the subclavius muscle compensatorily.

The Right BC may or may not be present in a Left AIC or PEC individual.  There is also the possibility of someone being a bilateral BC, in which both scapulae protract on the ribcage and bilateral ribs flare. The Bilateral BC is like the PEC of the thorax.

Youz Best Assess

We can assess the BC with very common orthopedic tests, and due to the above positioning, we would expect the following results.

In a right BC individual:

  • Decreased right shoulder internal rotation [70-90] (if full, SLAP lesion possible).
  • Decreased left horizontal abduction [<35] (if full, costoclavicular hypermobility or left anterior shoulder instability).
  • Decreased left shoulder flexion (if full, likely multidirectional instability).
  • Limited left cervical axial rotation
  • Limited right apical expansion

Bill Hartman does an excellent job below explaining what apical expansion is.

If one is a bilateral BC, then all motions should be limited on both sides, and if one is a superior T4 (explained later), you would expect limited left apical expansion.


 Much like all the introductory courses, right BC treatment is fairly algorithmic. We follow a progression utilizing the BC opposition muscles, which include the triceps, lower traps, serratus anterior, and internal obliques/transversus abdominis. With these muscles, our goal is to create left thoracic abduction, left posterior mediastinal expansion, and right apical expansion.

 ZOA nonmanual –> right lower trap and right tricep.

Here’s a ZOA nonmanual example:

And here’s a right lower trap / right tricep activity:

The right lower trap and right tricep activities work by retracting and posterior tilting the right scapula and rotating the left lower spine; promoting thoracic flexion.

Get your thorax flexin' and your arms t-rexin'
Get your thorax flexin’ and your arms t-rexin’

The ultimate goal is to get to right lower trap and right tricep activities, but this progression assumes all your BC tests went negative. That rarely happens, so you may have to use some manual techniques:

 ZOA nonmanual –> ZOA manual –> superior T4

Here’s an example from PRI of one of the manual techniques. There are several so I won’t show you all of them:

Suppose after you do the above and you get a positive left apical expansion test. That would indicate a superior T4 syndrome.

This syndrome is a compensatory pattern that occurs when respiratory demand increases. The right scalanes increase their tone, which externally rotates the upper four ribs on the right. This change would correspondingly result in left rib 1-4 internal rotation.  The vertebrae in this region also begin rotating right.  This rib positioning would explain why apical expansion would be limited on the left.

I ‘splained it here in the video below:

When we run into this pattern, we have to use a few other tricks up our sleeve:

Subclavius manual technique –> left lower trap and left serratus exercise

 The left lower trap and left serratus exercise helps by rotating the mid-thoracic spine to the right, internally rotating the ribs. A desired kyphosis would also be created

Here’s a video of some young man doing this classic activity

Clinical Pearls

 One of the biggest pieces that I picked up from this class regarded patient education. With all the PRI nonmanual and manual activities, our goal is to give the patient a frame of reference. Finding and feeling these movements, muscles, and positions is what helps drive the patient into alternating and reciprocal activity.

We use nonmanual techniques to promote motor learning with these references, and manual techniques are merely a way to guide the patient to these references.

So if anything, the course itself taught me to reinforce why feeling this activity in this area is important to the patient’s experience. How is this technique is going to help them, why do I have to put my hands on your ribcage.  The more we inform the patient the better.

The reference centers are the keys to unlocking the doors of the home under protect mode.

What a great defense!
What a great defense!


 So there you have it. Another great PRI course, and my understanding is a little less hazy. I look forward to the next one. If you haven’t made it to a PRI course yet, please do so. You can thank me later.


Wait, you didn’t think I’d forget some good quotes right???? 🙂

 (In)famous Ron Quotes:

  • “The appendages tell you what sense you are in. Sympathetic. Parasympathetic.”
  • “This is not an anatomical and biomechanics course.”
  • “Asymmetry is a gift. Why would you destroy it?”
  • “Every muscle you have has a purpose.”
  • “If you don’t inhibit something you are dead.”
  • “There is no such thing as a shoulder. You have two of them.”
  • “There is no such thing as a body.  I see two.”
  • “I love fascia, but fascia is not restricting you. Tone is restricting you.”
  • “The diaphragm is the only muscle in your body. It’s the first and last one you will use.”
  • “You’re treating four patients in an hour? I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”
  • “Biological behavior requires unilateral activity.”
  •  “Reposition yourself by looking in a true mirror and drinking kool-aid.”
  • “70% of patients I see have pain patterns that are illusory.”
  • “The only way to look at posture is to look at dynamic activity.”
  • “You are only as good as your patient will let you be.”
  • “You’re not gonna pop a pill. You’re gonna pop a chest.”
  • “People know how to breathe. People need to know how to breathe when they stop breathing.”
  • “Evidence-based practice is killing you because you can’t create.”
  • “We treat our cars better than our humans.”
  • “If you’re going to jump in bed with PRI, jump!.”
  • “You know what really screws people up? Selfies.”
  • “Based on my limited knowledge of doing this for 35 years…”
  • “If you have a bunion, you better get some respiratory shoes.”
  • “The first rib controls everything you do in life.”
  • “[The posterior mediastinum] should be the sexiest butt on Vogue magazine.”
Fastest way to become myopic.
Fastest way to become myopic.

The Post Wonderful Time of the Year: Top Posts of 2013

The Best…Around

Time is fun when you are having flies. It seems like just yesterday that I started up this blog, and I am excited and humbled by the response I have gotten.

Hearing praise from my audience keeps me hungry to learn and educate more.

I am always curious to see which pages you enjoyed, and which were not so enjoyable; as it helps me tailor my writing a little bit more.

And I’d have to say, I have a bunch of readers who like the nervous system 🙂

Like porn for my readers.
Yeah, it’s pretty cool

I am not sure what the next year will bring in terms of content, as I think the first year anyone starts a blog it is more about the writing process and finding your voice.

Regardless of what is written, I hope to spread information that I think will benefit those of you who read my stuff. The more I can help you, the better off all our patients and clients will be.

So without further ado, let’s review which posts were the top dogs for this year (and some of my favorite pics of course).

10.  Lessons from a Student: The Interaction

Actually, I have found I now have more success setting up my interactions like this.

This was probably one of my favorite posts to write this year, as I think this area is sooooooo underdiscussed. Expect to be hearing more on patient interaction from me in the future.

9) Clinical Neurodynamics Chapter 1: General Neurodynamics

Any post with Predator in it has been shown to increase T levels by 300%
Any post with Predator in it has been shown to increase T levels by 300%

Shacklock was an excellent technical read. In this post we lay out some nervous system basics, and why we call neurodynamics what we call it.

8) Course Notes: Graded Motor Imagery

Drawing skillz unparalleled.
Drawing skillz unparalleled.

It seems like I took this course forever ago, but reviewing this post reminded me why I love the NOI group so much. I feel as though their message is one you cannot get enough of.

As for GMI itself, I find that it is great for people who most every movement hurts, as well as an educational piece. From a PRI perspective, it is also useful. I have had patients imagine contracting their glute max and go neutral. Crazy stuff.

7) Explain Pain Section 6: Management Essentials

I totally recall how awesome this post was...Just see the movie
I totally recall how awesome this post was…Just see the movie

Hopefully after following this blog you have a better understanding of pain than the average bear, so here are some basic ways we can manage the pain experience.

6) The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter III: Pain Mechanisms and Peripheral Sensitivity

When I see someone stub their toe, I'm not thinking a stubbed toe.
When I see someone stub their toe, I’m not thinking a stubbed toe.

One of my very first posts, so maybe a Cupples classic?

Anyway, here we explore in great detail what nociception and peripheral neuropathic pain are; and why you should go to the emergency room when you stub your toe 🙂

5) Course Notes: PRI Myokinematic Restoration

Because why not?
Because why not?

I am very glad this post got many views, as I feel the message these guys send is some of the best on the market. Here is PRI 101, and expect to hear a lot more about their work this upcoming year.

4) The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter VIII: Palpation and Orientation of the Peripheral Nervous System

There was a time in which I didn't post funny pics...Besides, who doesn't like Led Zeppelin?
There was a time in which I didn’t post funny pics…Besides, who doesn’t like Led Zeppelin?

One underrated way to assess the nervous system is via palpation. You can get a lot of interesting responses on people. Here we learn how.

3) Clinical Neurodynamics Chapter 2: Specific Neurodynamics

I really feel like my artistic endeavors became their own once I started drawing in color.
I really feel like my artistic endeavors became their own once I started drawing in color.

In this post we learn a lot of local nervous system tidbits, and more information on my future Therapeutic Microsoft Paint Course 🙂

2) Course Notes: Mobilisation of the Nervous System

That my writing pace has slowed down.
That my writing pace has slowed down.

Such a great class. Here we see updates to the science behind “The Sensitive Nervous System”, as well as some neat tweaks to our neurodynamic testing. My favorite pieces were on the immune system and genetics.

1) Explain Pain Section 1: Intro to Pain

Because what's a post on my site without a Bane reference?
Because what’s a post on my site without a Bane reference?

This section could be a manifesto for this blog. Learning and understanding pain has been one of the biggest game changers for me as a clinician and writer.

Simply put, if you work with people in pain, this section is a must-read.

C’est Fini

So there you have it. Which posts were your favorite? Which would you like to see more/less of? Comment below and let a brother know.


Treatment of Shredded Cheese of the Hip: A Case Report and Rant

A Long Day

I officially eclipsed my longest work day ever. Started seeing patients at 7:30 am and finished training my last client at 10 pm.

So exhausting, but the bright side is my new schedule prevents me from waking up that early ever again! Hooray for sleeping in…sort of.

So tired I couldn't even make home from my car. And yes I drive an army truck so deal with it.
So tired I couldn’t even make home from my car. And yes I drive an army truck so deal with it.

I figured while I had some time in the airport before my next course, I would write a little something about a patient I evaluated right before my lunch break on this long day. Needless to say, I didn’t get much of a break.

Her Story

This lovely lady is a nurse with a history of chronic left hip pain. She has predominately been treated surgically via labral repairs and muscle reattachment. Her most recent symptom exacerbation involved putting on her socks about a month prior. She heard a pop as she bent over and could not walk.

She initially saw two ortho docs. One specializes in total hips, the other in scopes.  Since she was not appropriate for a total hip, this doc referred this lady to his associate.

After some imaging was done, she found out that she could not have surgery because she had several muscle tears. Or in the language that the doctor used:

“I have nothing to work with. Your hip is shredded up like cheese.”

I missed this condition in my pathology textbook. But it was in chapter 7 after reviewing.
I missed this condition in my pathology textbook. But it was in chapter 7 after reviewing.

This lady knew no other treatment but surgery, and hearing this news was devastating for her. Thoughts of a brutish life and an end to her fulfilling job flooded her mind. This doc referred to PT while conveying to the patient that this avenue was a mere dumping ground.

The Subjective

She walks back into the evaluation room, limping with the cane in excruciating pain.

Healthcare practitioners are the hardest people to treat. Knowledge is power, but the extensive biomechanical knowledge she had was detrimental in this case.

The subjective basically consisted of her telling me all the biomechanical issues she had. This pain is the bursa; running around the gluteus medius and minimus, down the illiotibial tract, blah blah blah puke.

Quite genius, actually.
Quite genius, actually.

But I listened intently to her story and how this recent episode devastated her life.

I finally asked her what her goal was for therapy? She replied…

“When you have a hip like this, what goal can you have?”

There were so many strikes against me for this lady. If you factor in what her history, what doctors said, her thoughts on her complaint, her belief that therapy could do nothing, her lack of goals, and her pain severity; let’s just say I was quite overwhelmed.

After I composed my thoughts, I knew what needed to be done.

Challenged accepted.

Basically what was ahead of me.
Basically what was ahead of me.


I performed an abbreviated objective exam to determine movement sensitivity and autonomic nervous system status via PRI testing. Based on my tests and measures, she was classified from a PRI perspective as a normal human being from the planet where?

Answer: Earth

Ron Hruska would be proud.
Ron Hruska would be proud.

I told her this finding, and proceeded to go into explaining how pain works. You never know how someone so indoctrinated into a biomechanical model is going to react to this thought process, but it was the only shot I had.

I used the analogy of pain as a sophisticated home security system. One so sophisticated that it can differentiate when calling 911 is appropriate; 911 being pain. Her hip trouble history was similar to being robbed in the past, so her home security system called 911.

If you have been robbed once, you will likely take extra precautions not to get robbed again.

Therefore, when she does something nonthreatening like put socks on and gets excruciating pain, it is not necessarily because she got robbed. It is as if her main console (i.e. her brain) calls 911 just because someone suspicious is walking near the street to her home. This episode was the result of her security center calling the cops at an inappropriate time.

A slight overreaction of your nervous system perhaps.
A slight overreaction of your nervous system perhaps.

Surprisingly, she totally understood this explanation, and gave me the following response:

“I never had anyone explain it to me that way.”

I sealed the deal by using her current hopelessness to my advantage. I mentioned that she felt this was the only option she had left. I felt I could help her as long as she put in the work.

She was sold.

Will I ever stop with Bane references? Admirable, but mistaken.
Will I ever stop with Bane references? Admirable, but mistaken.

The treatment we worked on was simply working on her breathing in hooklying. I helped her guide her ribs down to get as much exhalation as possible. We worked on this for about 10 minutes until she got the concept.

I reassessed all her hip motions…No pain. She got up and walked…No pain. She looked at me and asked:

“What the hell just happened?”

I told her we got her home security system reset via the autonomic nervous system.

She walks back into the evaluation room, limping with the cane in excruciating pain. She leaves the evaluation room smiling and holding the cane.


I don’t know what pisses me off more with this case, the words her doctor used, or the fact that this lady had never heard how pain works.

She was a healthcare practitioner who had no idea that pain worked in this way, and that scares me.

We see two very influential professions who think purely from a biomechanical model, and likely explain complaints to people in this fashion.  Think of the number of people these clinicians will see, perpetuating biomechanical faults as the sole cause of one’s pain. We can see now why our jobs are challenging.

Pain neurobiology is becoming more prominent in the PT realm, but we are only small fish in a very big pond.  And due to our status, we will have a hard road ahead converting medicine to this model.  I was lucky in this case, but I cannot tell you how many times I lose a patient when I go this route.

A few get it, some superficially get it, and many will not buy it.

Not even for a dollar.
Not even for a dollar.

Why is something so prominent in the research not standard operating procedure? Why is it that the evidence states giving biomechanical explanations leads to worse outcomes, yet this way is the norm? Why is it so hard to change?

But I see a paradigm shifting over the horizon. A light at the end of the tunnel. I got another healthcare provider to realize current pain theories, and she is eager to learn more. I feel we need to focus more of our efforts here.

We need to stop arguing with each other over which treatments do and do not work and the rationale why. We are all attacking the same thing under the same framework. We are all reducing the perception of pain as a threat.  And that is all pain is. A perception.

We need to shift our focus to educating those professionals not initiated on how this science works. We need doctors, nurses, therapists, front office staff, and everyone else involved in health care all on the same page.  And until we do so, we will be stagnant in our current state.

The arguments we make regarding treatment will not matter until we educate the masses on the underlying framework for their pain experience.

Educate on.

How do I reach these clinicians?
How do I reach these clinicians?


Chapter 14: Advanced Corrective Strategies

This is a chapter 14 summary of the book “Movement” by Gray Cook.


Corrective exercise is focused on providing input to the nervous system.  We are allowing the patients and clients to experience the actual predicament that lies beneath the surface of their movement pattern problem. It is okay for mistakes to be made, for these errors help accelerate motor learning. Minimal cueing should be utilized, as we want to patient to let them feel the enriching sensory experience.

Mistakes are good...I wouldn't be here without them.
Mistakes are good…I wouldn’t be here without them.

Motor Program Retraining

There are several different methods in which we can achieve a desired motor output.

1)      Reverse patterning – Performing a movement from the opposite direction.

2)      Reactive neuromuscular training – Exaggerating mistakes so the patient/client overcorrects. Use oscillations first, followed by steady resistance.

3)      Conscious Loading – Using load to hit the reset button for sequence and timing.

4)      Resisted exercise – Makes patterns more stable and durable.

When you can deadlift that much, most anything is stable and durable.