In the general public there seems to be a lack of awareness regarding neural dynamics. Everyone knows muscles and joints require movement, but people do not think about the nervous system as a mobile unit. As a profession, physical therapy is gaining more knowledge regarding neural dynamics and incorporating these principles into our treatment sessions and home exercise programs. Unfortunately, we are not doing an adequate job explaining to patients WHY we are performing these exercises.
What is important to know about the nervous system?
The body is one unit of interconnected nerves stemming from the brain. Healthy nerves require regular movement to stay lubricated and mobile. Unhealthy nerves are less pliable and can get trapped or compressed creating nerve tension. Decreased pliability increases the risk of injury because of the high amount of oxygen required by the nervous system. The nervous system receives 20% of the body’s blood supply, yet comprises only 2% of the body’s weight. It relies on adequate oxygen to function, and whenever that supply is disrupted, problems (manifested as tension) occur.
The above paragraph is brief summary of a 2009 3 part series, by Todd Hargrove on Nerve Mechanics. These easy to read blog posts will give you simple tips to explain nerve pain to your patients.
James Heafner PT, DPT, OCS:
Owner and lead physical therapist at Heafner Health, cash-based physical therapy in Boulder, CO. Areas of expertise include orthopedic and manual therapy, functional movement, pain science, and movement science.
In May 2013, I earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Saint Louis University. After graduating from the Harris Health Systems Orthopedic Residency in October 2014, I moved to Boulder, CO. Since living in Boulder, I have started my own cash-based PT practice, earned my OCS certification, and teach for the OPTIM Fellowship and COMT program in Houston TX and Scottsdale, AZ.
Chris Fox PT, DPT, OCS: Physical therapist at Foothills Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy in Scottsdale, AZ and regularly lectures at the Phoenix Campus for NAU's DPT program and for Optim Manual Therapy's COMT program. Completed multiple advanced manual therapy courses implementing aspects of biomechanical analysis. He received his DPT from Saint Louis University in 2013. Completed Scottsdale Healthcare's Orthopaedic Residency (now Honor Health) in July 2014. He became a Board Certified Orthopaedic Specialist in 2015. Level I Expert in FMS and SFMA , Kinetacore FDN Level 1 certification, and IASTM Technique course completion. He would like to pursue further education in McKenzie Technique, Dry Needling, Strength & Conditioning, Orthopaedic and Manual Therapy.
Brian Schwabe PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS:
- Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist (SCS) at Elite OrthoSport in Santa Monica, CA which specializes in treating collegiate/professional athletes and clientele from the Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica areas.
- USC Sports Residency Trained Physical Therapist (<1% of all PT's residency trained)
- DPT from Saint Louis University
- Future plans/interest include:
1. USAW, SFMA & Catapult Systems technology for NBA teams
2. Pursuing a position as a sports physical therapist &/or Strength coach for a Division 1 athletic medicine department or professional sport team.
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