Movement and Dysfunction Part 1, By Justin Rabinowitz

 So Todd calls me the other day and the phone conversation goes a little like this…

Todd: Dude

Me: Bro

Todd: Dude, I need your help. I’ve had more requests than I can even count from people wondering why you haven’t posted on the site in a long time.

Me: I know… I’m in high demand lately so that doesn’t surprise me at all.

Todd: So, can you write a lil sumthin’ sumthin’ for the blog or what? I really, really need you.

Me: Ok fine. But realize I am only doing this for the paycheck because after all, if it don’t make dollars, then it don’t make sense, ya dig???

(Author’s Note: I may have taken a few opportunities here to fabricate this entire conversation, but nonetheless, as MJ says, “I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack”)


My goals over the next few weeks are as follows:

1)     Share the thought process of which I have picked up from the likes of Gray Cook’s FMS program, Dr. Craig Liebenson’s “Faulty Movement Patterns” seminar as well as a ton of reading and studying from other people that ‘GET IT.’

2)     Discuss simple exercises and movements that our clients/patients can use not only while training, but also while at work and/or at home.

3)     Show some functional screens, common problems, and some corrective strategies.

4)     Keep people entertained by making fun of Todd.

 Let’s start with a quick day in the life for yours truly at the chiropractic clinic…

 My experience with a patient usually goes a little like this: Take a full history, do an orthopedic exam, do some functional exams, palpate and assess joint and muscle tissue and then discuss with the patient what I have found:

 Me: I know you are experiencing pain in your neck, but after examining you and assessing some of your movements, I feel that your neck pain is a result of your mid -back (thoracic spine) dysfunction. Because of this, your body compensates. In this case, it is the neck. Your neck hurts, but your mid-back is dysfunctional. Right now, if we can work to correct the movement problem in your mid-back, your neck pain will slowly go away. Do you have any questions?

Patient: Yea, why don’t you just work on my neck? My neck hurts…did you listen to anything I said??

 At this point, I usually excuse myself from the treatment room, find a quiet corner and cry myself to sleep.


 As I have found, it is often extremely difficult to explain to a patient this concept:



I recently had the pleasure of attending a Dr. Craig Liebenson seminar (as you can probably tell, I think this gentleman is very, very smart) at Peak Performance in NYC (yes, I just name dropped Peak in order to gain street cred amongst the strength and conditioning field). There, an eclectic group of manual therapists and strength and conditioning specialists spent the weekend assessing movement patterns. Hence, the cleverly titled seminar “Faulty Movement Patterns.” During the lecture portion, Dr. Liebenson made some fantastic points in assessing a patient/client.

Here are a few that really resonated with me: 

–          First, find movements that are painful. Then, find movements that are dysfunctional. Dysfunctional movements are often Painless, but are the most important place to start with exercise/rehab.

–          In addressing the painful movements, the most important point is to educate the patient/client on how to avoid what harms them.


Speaking to the second bullet point, I cannot stress how important I have found this to be. Yes, I know I’m still at student and don’t have a ton of clinical experience but I have had a patient say, “I have two herniated discs in my low back so I have been doing 1,000 (not a typo) crunches 3x/week to keep my core strong.” When I hear this, I first get sick to my stomach and then realize how much education is needed with our patients/clients in teaching them how to spare their tissue.


 Over the next few weeks I hope to offer a smorgasbord of information from a different standpoint than some of the might be used to. Todd admittedly does not do a lot of writing on corrective exercise/pre-hab/rehab (not because he doesn’t know it, I promise you that) so this is where his knight in shining armour comes in: AKA: ME!










On that note, stay tuned for my next post on strategies to “spare the tissue” along with showing people how to simply  “avoid what harms them.” (1291)

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Todd Bumgardner
M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger
Todd Bumgardner

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Todd Bumgardner
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M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger

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