The Top & Most Simple Way To Prevent Crippling Chronic Injuries And Live A Pain Free Life: Movement Screening.
You've probably read or been taught about various ways to stay or become healthier before...
Some valid...like annual medical check -ups, colonoscopy after age 50, mammogram, routine dental cleaning and exams...
Some much less valid, confusing, and/or clearly misleading... Like TV news mentioning latest studies such as " drinking three cups of coffee a day could decrease your blood pressure and help you live longer"... Internet and social media advertisements on the latest gadget, vitamin or supplements that will prevent you to gain weight, make your back feel better, or prevent bunions....
But enough of that... Today, I am here to discuss an efficient and proven way that, if widely adopted, would save billions of dollars, countless hours of time wasted being treated in the healthcare system, and much less suffering...in Burien & Seattle, WA and throughout the world. And that is called a Movement Screen or Movement Screening.
People have come to accept (rightfully so) the necessity and usefulness of a yearly (if not more often) medical check-ups during which your primary physicians verifies your vitals (blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, etc...), your weight, performs blood testing and potentially other tests according to your medical history and risks....
In the same manner, dental exams and cleanings are now ( or should be) routine for most in the Western World. Checking in on your teeth and mouth health prevents cavities, pain, and many other health conditions ( heart disease, like endocarditis) and just make sense.
Medical and dental check-ups reside in the realm of prevention and preventive medicine.
And so do movement screenings.
So... What if there was a way to detect neuro-musculo-skeletal ( nerve, muscles and bones) problems before they are even a problem?
Wouldn't it be nice to detect weak muscles that can lead to strain on your joints and later accelerate the effect of arthritis? Identify tightness in specific muscles that can really wreak-havoc on your body, from your lower back to your knees? Maybe identify posture and mobility problems that can lead to the dreaded "bulging disc", "rotator cuff tear" or "bunions"? Find out about what part of your body does not move well enough, even for mundane tasks like walking and sit at a desk or more involved activities like jogging, cross-fit, tennis or skiing? Learning how to modify the performance of a particular task of movement that is performed repeatedly and could take its toll on your joints health?
The good news is that these would be easily addressed and affect millions of life positively every year...Only if movement screenings were performed in the same manner than annual physicals and dental cleaning. The bad news is that nearly 99.99% of people have no idea that a movement screening is even a thing.
Usually, a patient presenting to a physiotherapist at a clinic do so when an injury has already occurred or they suffered with muscular or joint pain for some time. I can count on less than 5 fingers the number of patients I have seen in my 16 years career that came for preventive care, interested in learning how to strengthen a particular joint or limb they feel is vulnerable, or also to improve their movement or technique on a specific sports or activity.
The idea of movement screening is for a physiotherapist to take patient through a series of movements and assess mobility from head to toe and identify asymmetries and limitations, as well as testing joint strength to identify faulty movement patterns and restrictions that will/could lead to injury. This can all be done in one appointment-like a physical, and patient leaves instructed with specific movement/ exercises to address the deficits identify. The goal is to empower one with the knowledge and means to prevent injury...without dependency on a medical provider for more than one session.
A movement screen is very valuable for the patient obviously, fixing dysfunctions before they become a more serious or painful problem. On a more global scale, movement screening would also have a major impact on the current healthcare system and the billions of dollars spent yearly diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal injuries that could have been prevented. As a simple example, Mary undergoes a movement screen with her physical therapist who identifies that her hip stabilizers muscles are very weak and already leads her to walk and stand with a sharp angle at her knee.... which unnecessarily load her knee joint... creates tension in the musculature around the knee as well as poorly distributed forces/ muscle pulls on the knee ( it's simple physics!). This is a common example of how wear and tear starts on a joint. Mary being given the appropriate home program to address this weakness would prevent her knee joint from worsening...which could lead her to her doctor multiple times and would also lead her to injections, expensive imaging, specialist visits, more physical therapy treatments, possibly surgery....
With this example, it is easy to see that a movement screen would save Mary from unnecessary suffering and chronic pain, while at the same time saving countless hours spent at medical appointments as well as being just one more number in the healthcare system.
In my opinion, movement screenings are an opportunity to improve the health of millions of people and make the healthcare system more efficient.
Call me a dreamer or an idealist but movement screen are extremely easy to implement and only requires increase awareness and education of the population to become a step in someone's health routine.
At Butheau Physiotherapy, we have been offering movement screening since our beginning, trying to make a difference in the the health of the Burien and Seattle community.
Enquire through our website how we can help and serve you better with our movement screens. Even better, mention this blog post and receive a 25% discount on your next movement screen with us.
The holiday season coming up, these make a great gift to start the new year in the right direction.
Visit www.butheauphysio.com/enquire.html, www.butheauphysio.com, call or text (425)281-4171.
Pierre-Yves Butheau, MPT, CMP has been a physiotherapist for 19 years and has a passion for helping people move better, return from and prevent injuries, as well as improve their function and quality of life. He has a strong interest in addressing the root cause of and treating neuro-musculoskeletal conditions while educating his patients with the knowledge to manage their conditions and prevent recurrence. Pierre also has a niche in treating Bell's palsy and temporomandibular joint dysfunctions.