Also known as Functional Movement Analysis

Functional movement disorders (FMDs) are clinical syndromes defined by the occurrence of abnormal involuntary movements that are in congruent with a known neurological cause and are significantly improved on neurological exam with distraction or non-physiologic maneuvers.

People may have pain during a simple functional movement such as sitting to standing or may get pain after completing more complex movements required during their sport. In either case, it is useful to look and analyse how the body moves in order to investigate if there is a dysfunctional movement pattern present. For example, a person attending with ongoing low back pain may demonstrate poor flexibility in their hip during a squat. This causes compensatory and undesirable movement through the lower back and pelvis.

You may experience a number of symptoms, including:

  • Tremor: Shaking in a limb that you cannot control is called a tremor. Tremors range from very minor to severe, which can be disabling. Some individuals have tremors that come and go.
  • Jerks/twitches: You may experience jerky movements or twitching.
  • Spasm/contractures: With spasms/contractures, your limbs may freeze in an awkward or uncomfortable position.
  • Gait (walking) problems: You may encounter a variety of problems while walking (gait). For example, difficulty standing up straight when walking. You may walk unsteadily, drag one leg or be very afraid of falling.

The symptoms of functional movement disorders are very common and can be reversed. Research has shown that getting treatment can improve the chance that your symptoms will resolve.

How Can Rehab Basics Help?

Once a dysfunctional movement has been identified a treatment plan can be devised to correct and normalise the movement. An emphasis is placed on education and movement patterning re-training as well as exercise prescription and manual therapy to reduce pain and promote improved range of movement and flexibility.

Treatment may include the following:

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Retraining movement with diverted attention demonstrate normal movement in the context of meaningful activity such as walking.
  • Stimulate automatically generated movement and prevent cognitively controlled movement. This can be achieved by altering the focus of motor attention, such as thinking about a different part of the movement or trying fast, rhythmical, unfamiliar or unpredictable movement.
  • Task-orientated exercises to improve function and encourage implicit motor control. Meaningful automatic movement and muscle activity can be generated by weight bearing or automatic postural responses such as when sitting on an unstable surface (eg, a therapy ball). 
  • Pain and Fatigue management
  • Biofeedback technique such as Visualisation and Mirrors which can be help provide feedback to patients about their movements, posture or gait pattern which are often significantly different from how they imagine them to be. Moving in front of a mirror may also help distract attention from monitoring body sensations.
  • Sensory Stimulation
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) 
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
  • Assess, refer and encourage use of adaptive equipment to improve independence and quality of life. 
  • Falls management. 

Treatment Sessions are offered in clinics across Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes or at Home Environment.

For further information about our service or to book an appointment with Rehab Basics please contact us