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Mobility Issues

Mobility issues are very common and can cause any number of injuries. Lack of range of motion in a specific movement causes areas of the body that are not designed for extra movement to compensate. This puts extra stress on those areas and leads to less efficient movement and often causes injury.

Common causes of limited range of motion are tissue extensibility deficiencies (tight muscles) or joint mobility dysfunction (restricted joints). Rather than doing technique evaluations of a specific sport, such as a gait analysis for runners or pitching for a baseball player, we find it more valuable to individualize movements and ensure that basic human movements can be performed. We do this through the use Functional Movement Systems (FMS) and the Select Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). These movement screens have been developed by some of the best and most innovative experts in the field of movement analysis. They are used by most professional sports teams in America to evaluate their athletes for movement proficiency. These screens help us to break down body movement into individual parts to assess patients for normal range of motion requirements. SFMA and FMS allow us to examine full body ranges of motion and then diagnose the cause of limited or altered movement as being either a soft tissue/ joint issue or a motor control issue. It is important to properly identify the cause of an altered range of motion so that treatment can be focused to address the root cause of limited range of motion.

If you’re perfectly healthy and pain free, why should you, as an athlete, care if something like your ankles are fully mobile? If you have a race tomorrow and you were given the option to run in two walking casts so that your ankles were locked or to run with your current running shoes, which would you choose? It doesn’t need to be said that you can run faster, jump higher, throw further if you’re not in a walking cast. While you may not notice a limit in your ankle mobility while doing daily activities, small losses in your range of motion will significantly limit your performance and likely end in injury.

Examining freedom of mobility through the most advanced screening methods and treating the found deficiencies in range of motion can help our patients return to normal and necessary range of motion. Movement screens are important because they create a standard way of evaluating movement and defining what normal is. This is the same as defining a normal range for something like your blood pressure. If it is too high or too low, that is a problem that should be addressed. Being an integrated healthcare facility, we look at movement the same way. Too little or too much movement must be addressed with proper treatment.