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If your patient has pain upon standing up; then watch them stand up. In this study from David Frost it becomes apparent that people choose different movement patterns to perform different tasks.  In this study, fifty-two firefighters performed a battery of general and occupation-specific tasks that simulated the demands of firefighting. Participants’ peak lumbar spine and frontal plane knee motion were compared across tasks.

“During 85% of all comparisons, the magnitude of spine and knee motion was greater during the general movement tasks than observed during the firefighting skills. Certain features of a worker’s movement behavior may be exhibited across a range of tasks. Therefore, provided that a movement screen’s tasks expose the motions of relevance for the population being tested, general evaluations could offer valuable insight into workers’ movement competency or facilitate an opportunity to establish an evidence-informed intervention.”

Often the answer to our patient’s problem is simply the strategies they use to do trivial tasks.  We can teach hip stability and core strength to all of our patients, but just because they can perform great technique does not mean they will in daily activity.  Pick out that one task that reproduces your patient’s pain, and teach them better biomechanics to perform that same task without pain.


David M. Frost, Tyson A.C. Beach, Stuart M. McGill, Jack P. Callaghan.  The predictive value of general movement tasks in assessing occupational task performance.  Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation Online Date Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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