Movement Matters

Davis physical therapist believes movement matters

By Special to The Enterprise

From page B4 | April 17, 2016



Physical therapist Mat Moore, owner of Physical Edge in Davis, has spent the better half of the past decade refining his skills in his profession. He’s always been passionate about his field but in 2007, Moore attended a continuing education course taught by the founders of Functional Movement Systems and his professional lens was forever changed. The weekend course was the beginning of an eight-year journey that has challenged, enlightened and invigorated him to be the best physical therapist he can be.

Functional Movement Systems is a company with a mission to help people move better and then move often. The philosophy was introduced in 1995, at a time when there was no systematic tool to identify movement asymmetries or major limitations in functional movement patterns. The system promotes collaboration between performance and rehabilitation professionals through the use of two tools — the Functional Movement Screen and the Selective Functional Movement Assessment. Both tools evaluate movement but are separated by a clear, distinct marker. That marker is pain.

If movement produces pain, the individual would be sent through SFMA. If pain is not present, then the FMS is the appropriate tool, which is used primarily by personal trainers and strength coaches.

As a physical therapist, Moore works within the SFMA system, identifying and helping patients with pain. The SFMA is the movement-based diagnostic system, designed to clinically assess seven fundamental movement patterns in those with known musculoskeletal pain. The assessment provides an efficient method to systematically find the cause of symptoms, not just the source, by logically breaking down dysfunctional patterns and diagnosing their root cause as either a mobility problem or a stability/motor control problem.

This systematic process allows clinicians to clearly match their intervention to the main problem of the patient. This model efficiently integrates the concepts of altered motor control, the neurodevelopmental perspective and regional interdependence into musculoskeletal practice. After attending all three levels of training with FMS, Moore was hooked. He returned home from the trainings with an excitement and vigor to put into practice what he had just learned. The system changed the way he approached the treatment plan of his patients and set him apart from other clinicians in his field.

With this philosophy, Moore has been able to see first-hand how quickly it enables a clinician to identify the root of the pain in a patient. And, this not only applies to traditional therapy patients such as post-operative, back pain and orthopedic patients but individuals, young and old who are athletic but experience pain while training.

“Our bodies can actually thrive on stress once they are balanced and functioning well,” Moore said. “But if they are stressed when they are not balanced and functioning well, they can actually be challenged for too long, damaged beyond repair or broken altogether.”

He sees it in athletes all the time — repetitive training with poor movement patterns. Athletes can compensate and still move successfully, but it is a matter of time before they will break down, Moore said. It’s teaching them to recognize when they feel pain and pausing to be screened and effectively retrain the altered movement pattern. Most of the time when someone comes into the clinic with knee pain, the problem is seldom with the knee, Moore said. It’s with a tight hip or ankle and the patient compensating for that movement, which puts stress on the knee. Using the SFMA screen can help a therapist find the source of pain and treat effectively, he said.

As Functional Movement Systems continued to grow, so did the demand for courses and the need for additional instructors. Moore became part of the first team outside of the founders to begin instructing SFMA courses.

In addition to continuing education courses that taught him the skills, he also attended several instructor courses and seminars and spent hundreds of hours studying and understanding the scientific background of the model. After assisting and co-leading several classes throughout the United States and Canada over the past three years, Moore is now lead-instructing courses throughout the world. He teaches physical therapists, chiropractors and physicians the model. This past year, he has taught in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Tokyo; Vancouver, Canada; as well as in Tampa, Miami, Milwaukee and Detroit.

In Brazil and Japan, teaching was a bit tricky due to the language barrier, Moore said.

“The attendees in these countries are dedicated clinicians who were enthusiastic and eager to learn the model,” he said. “With headsets and Portuguese and Japanese/English translators, the groups listened, then practiced the methods on each other.

“It was a joy to be a part of … especially as you saw the information begin to click … just as it did with me nine years ago.”

Moore said he enjoys teaching and sharing this philosophy with fitness and rehabilitation professionals.

“I feel so fortunate with where I am in life right now,” he said. “I love coming to our clinic each day and treating patients in my childhood hometown. And then, to have such amazing opportunities to teach fellow colleagues through SFMA …it’s a real treat.”