Home Posts tagged "Dr. William Brady"

Making Movement Better: Positions vs. Pressures

About 15 years ago, I attended a two-day course with Dr. William Brady, a well respected chiropractor and manual therapist in the Boston area. During the event, he said this:

"Biomechanics is a combination of physics and biology. Put another way, it is the study of load applied to human tissue."

It was the most succinct and encompassing definition of biomechanics that I'd heard, so I frantically scribbled it down in my notes - and I've had it in the back of my mind to this day each time I've evaluated movement.

Assessments are very important. However, they're always limited in their scope, especially when an assessment is scaled back to a quicker "screen."

Just because someone has good passive range of motion on a table doesn't mean that they'll be able to pick that ROM up actively or demonstrate it in a weight-bearing athletic movement at higher speeds with higher forces.

Further, just because they look good at higher speeds with higher forces doesn't mean that there isn't an element of stress in the system that we can't appreciate.

And finally, that stress may be highly variable based on a wide variety of factors, both intrinsic (e.g., accumulated fatigue, growth spurts) and extrinsic (e.g., environmental conditions, terrain).

Tons of athletes can get to positions like this, but how many can do so safely - and repeatedly?

When I talk with athletes and review video, I always make sure that I'm discussing both positions and pressures. Range-of-motion is part of the discussion, but ground reaction forces and how we create stiffness via airflow/intra-abdominal pressure, neuromuscular recruitment, and the fascial system can't be overlooked.

This is why the industry-wide trend toward more comprehensive information gathering is invaluable. We've always had our classic orthopedic posture and ROM tests, usually paired with less-than-functional dynamometer strength measurements and some provocative tests to rule out the bad stuff. Now, though, we've got things like force plates to look at how we interact with the ground. And we've got the Proteus, which I've called a "rotational force plate" to help us determine how those ground reaction forces eventually work their way up the chain.

We've got far more tools for evaluating body composition, sleep quality, heart rate, fatigue status, workload, and much, much more. So, it's a very exciting time - but only if we appreciate that both positions and pressures matter.

Many of these principles are espoused in Mike Reinold and my Functional Stability Training series, so I'd encourage you to check them out if you'd like to dig deeper.

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A Sweet Deal for the Manual Therapists in the Crowd

Last year, I wrote a newsletter on my awesome experience at Dr. William Brady's biomechanics course in Boston, MA.  It was without a doubt one of the most beneficial events I've attended in recent years (in spite of being the only non-manual therapist in attendance). It's that time of year again; Dr. Brady's 2009 event is scheduled for October 17-18 (in Boston again).  If you treat patients, it's well worth the investment. You can sign up HERE. Now, Dr. Brady also has a new online subscription that's loaded with similarly great content.  It's already a great deal, but to sweeten it even further, he hooked me up with a discount for my readers who plan to attend.  Here's what he's got for you (straight from the man himself): I went ahead and set up a discount for the guys who sign up from your site. The professionals can get $75 off and students can get $49 off the regular price of $180 and $118 - so it ends up as $105 and $69 per month, respectively. Professional (anyone not in school) can type "cresseypro" and students currently in school or graduated in the last six months (yes, we check) "cresseystudent" in the promotion code area. Definitely check it out; you can get more information at www.IntegrativeDiagnosis.
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