Motor Control & Training

Motor control & training better strategies for posture and movement

Motor control, or the timing and control of your movement, is very important for the body to function optimally. It is dependent on several factors including the amount of control needed in different situations. Are you lying in bed, sitting supported in a chair, standing on two legs or one? Are you balancing on skates, a bike or on the rock face of a mountain? The amount of support your body has, you relationship to gravity, and the loads you need to sustain will change the amount of control your body needs to exert to maintain its desired path and performance.

How well your body is able to adapt to these different scenarios depends on many factors: your muscle strength, balance, proprioception as well as how you feel emotionally in these situations. Our life experiences and the way our bodies develop also contribute to our motor control. If you’ve been doing an activity all your life, you’ll look very different from someone who’s trying it for the first time.

Injuries are also a factor. A ballerina who sprains her ankle will have a difficult time balancing on point. A person who is in a car accident and has a neck whiplash injury may have a hard time supporting the weight of their head upright all day long. Research has shown that when we experience pain, our muscle firing patterns and strategies for movement, are different – and that even when the pain resolves, the altered movement patterns remain. These altered patterns can then contribute to developing other problems later on.

Poor motor control can also be the cause of injuries. A person whose knees fall in and twist when squatting may, over time, develop pain in the knees, hips or feet. Their pattern of movement is not optimal for maintaining healthy joints and balanced muscles, so over time, these tissues are unable to adapt to loads and changes like osteoarthritis can result.

At SynergyPhysio we pay attention to your muscle patterning and motor control, as well as to your muscle capacity (strength, endurance and power). Our whole body assessment allows us to determine what patterns of movement might be contributing to your injury, pain or less than optimal performance, and most significantly, we determine which region of your body we need to target with training in order to change your whole body movement and efficiency. So while many of us have several areas of our bodies that could move more optimally, by “Finding the Drivers” – the regions of your body in dysfunction that are the underlying cause of your movement pattern – we can design a more efficient and targeted exercise program, specific to you. We combine hands-on treatment of your Drivers and exercises to give you the ability to optimize your movement and performance. We have many ways we can help you train motor control – our clinical Pilates program, ConnectPilates™, uses equipment-based Pilates exercises to enhance mindful movement, or we can look at your gym program and give you insight into how to improve your weight lifting technique using our tools to optimize your Driver.

Whatever your goals, let us help you reach them – you can Move Better, Feel Better and Be Better.

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