OPTM Therapy | Dynamic Control
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Dynamic Control

One of the goals of Physical Therapy Treatment is to restore dynamic control of joint motion.  Dynamic joint control is the ability to maintain optimal position of the joint surfaces during activities in order to protect intra-and extra-articular tissue.

At OPTM the first treatment session is usually spent teaching the patient how to stop hurting the injured tissue and allow healing to begin.  We then begin the process of teaching the person how to control their bodies while they are moving, perform their activities of daily living, or participate in a sport.

Dynamic control of the lower extremities (LE) is essential since the LEs control the base of support on which the body moves.  If the LEs are unable to provide proper support, compensatory movements occur in the LEs as well as in the rest of the body.

The most common site for symptoms to occur is the knee, since the knee is the pivot point of the LEs.  In the picture above Paul Christensen is performing an

eccentric step-down with good dynamic control of  the LEs and the lumbopelvic complex, thus re-educating  muscle-movements in order to restore normal physiology to the tissue after an injury. Eccentric step-downs are often utilized in the advanced stages of treatment for patients with patello-femoral pain.  While walking down steps, one is required to control hip and LE musculature in order to keep the hip, knee, and ankle in proper alignment to avoid excessive stress to tissues in the knee. Also, the quadriceps muscle has to have the strength to eccentrically lower the body to the next step.  This is essential in everyday activities like walking down stairs, lowering one self into a chair, and walking or running down-hill.