Rocky’s has recently acquired a new assessment tool which gives us an in-depth understanding of how the body supports itself and why it might be in chronic or acute pain. It is called a pressure plate or force plate. The Footwork Pro® plate is connected to a laptop and uses software to display where the pressure is in your feet as you stand, walk, or run. You may have seen a lower grade type of device at your local running store to help determine the right shoe for you.

By displaying where a person places the mass of their body, in relation to their feet, we can map out and predict what each joint, and therefore each muscle, is doing to support them. We can then check the findings by comparing them with a static posture assessment, dynamic movement screen, video gait analysis and foot mobilization to get the most comprehensive understanding of the person’s structure. Much like a structural engineer will determine stress points and weakness in a building and then create a strategy to rectify the weakened structures, we can use all of our assessment tools to do the same thing to the human form.

If you have read any of our previous blogs, it will be little surprise to learn that most of the people’s pain is caused by improper posture and movement patterns. Often the site of pain is not where the problem resides. A lower back pain can arise due to an elevated shoulder or sprained ankle. Hip pain can be caused by a broken big toe or a head injury. Painful tendinitis can be created because the symptomatic area is working harder for another part of the body not working properly.

If you have suffered from any injury, surgical procedure, or major illness, there is a very low probability that your body returned to its previous state before the traumatic experience. Instead, it maintains a “shadow” of the way you organized movement during that time of stress. This means that all of your movement from that point on has been compromised. Unless it is guided back into proper integrative action, the likelihood of greater degrees of compensation in the future are almost guaranteed.

By assessing what the human form is doing as a whole, integrative unit we can better understand what is missing and causing pain. We can then begin to give the person a variety of movement experiences which restore and re-educate the central nervous system and bring the structure into better alignment and more optimal function. The result is a decrease or elimination of chronic and acute pain and a restoration of more effortless movement.