The management of uncontrolled movement

17th August 2011

Motor control retraining can be effective in altering specific motor control deficits identified in people with low back pain (O’Sullivan 1997, 1998), cervical pain (Jull et al.  2002, 2009), sacroiliac joint pain (O’Sullivan et al. 2007), headaches (McDonnell et al. 2005, Ettekoven 2006, Amiri et al. 2007), knee pain (Cowan et al. 2002); and can positively influence symptoms (Cowan et al. 2002) and disability (Jull et al. 2009, McDonnell et al. 2005, Stuge et al. 2004)

Pilot work suggests retraining the uncontrolled movement can have an influence on the movement fault (Mottram et al 2011). Indeed there is some evidence that motor control and physical fitness training prevent musculoskeletal injuries (Roussel et al 2009), highlighting the importance for therapists to be more knowledgeable about movement control and function.


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Cowan SM, Bennell KL, Crossley KM, Hodges PW, McConnell J. Physical therapy alters recruitment of the vasti in patellofemoral pain syndrome. Med Sci Sports Exerc  2002; 34(12): 1879-85

Ettekoven, van H, Lucas C. Efficacy of physiotherapy including a craniocervical training programme for tension-type headache; a randomized clinical trial. Cephalalgia. 2006 Aug; 26(8): 83-91

Jull GA, Falla D Vicenzino B, Hodges PW The effect of therapeutic exercise on activation of the deep cervical flexor muscles in people with chronic neck pain Manual Therapy 2009 14( 6) 696-701

Jull G, Trott P, Potter H, Zito G, Niere K, Shirley D, Emberson J, Marschner I, Richardson C. A randomized controlled trial of exercise and manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache. Spine 2002; 27(17): 1835-43

McDonnell MK, Sahrmann SA, Van DL. A specific exercise program and modification of postural alignment for treatment of cervicogenic headache: a case report. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther  2005; 35(1):3-15.

Mottram S, Warner M, Stokes M 2011 Retraining Uncontrolled Movement of the Scapula: a single case study WCPT Amsterdam

O'Sullivan PB, Grahamslaw KM, Kendell M, Lapenskie SC, Moller NE, Richards KV. The effect of different standing and sitting O'Sullivan PB, Beales DJ. Changes in pelvic floor and diaphragm kinematics and respiratory patterns in subjects with sacroiliac joint pain following a motor learning intervention: a case series. Man Ther  2007; 12(3): 209-18

O'Sullivan P, Twomey L, Allison G. Altered abdominal muscle recruitment in back pain patients following specific exercise intervention. J Orthopeadic Sports Physical Therapy 1998; 27(2): 114-24.

O'Sullivan P B, Twomey L, Allison G. Evaluation of specific stabilising exercises in the treatment of chronic low back pain with radiological diagnosis of spondylosis or spondylolisthesis. Spine 1997a. 22(24):2959-67.

Roussel NA, Daenen L, Vissers D, Lambeets D, Schutt A, Van Moorsel A, Mottram S. 2009 Motor control and physical fitness training to prevent msculoskeletal injuries in professional dancers. 3rd International Conference on Movement Dysfunction, Edinburgh, UK.  30 October - 1 November Manual Therapy 2009; 14:1 pS22

Stuge B, Veierod MB, Laerum E, Vollestad N. The efficacy of a treatment program focusing on specific stabilizing exercises for pelvic girdle pain after pregnancy: a two-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial. Spine 2004; 29(10): E197-E203

Keywords: Movement Control Impairments