Over the next 2 weeks we are going to look at the evolution of the current emphasis on movement as the way to manage and improve musculoskeletal health. Here in part one we look at the first 5 perspectives:
1. Current practice acknowledges a varied approach
Strength and neuromuscular control training programmes continue to be developed and delivered in the attempt to optimise athletes’ performance and accelerate their post injury rehabilitation process. The traditional focus of regaining joint range, muscle extensibility, strength or endurance and are now increasingly alloyed to ‘functional/neuromuscular’ retraining based on sport specific skills. This is a positive as it is time to move on from ‘stretch and strengthen’.
2. Recipe culture and the ‘core stability hangover’
The critical eye will remark how the interventions mentioned above invariably exhibit a close resemblance to traditional ‘core stability’ training or other well-known protocols seen for managing particular injuries. Although the state of play is improving this is not ideal as this has led to the emergence of a ‘recipe fix’ culture for what are often complex, and athlete bespoke problems.
3. History, evolution and incongruence
Originating in the mid-1990s the original research that spawned the core stability revolution that followed this work, established links between movement, pain and altered recruitment strategies. The core stability concept gained world-wide recognition throughout all movement based disciplines. Its adoption on a global scale led to huge variance and incongruence in its application with the findings of the original and ongoing research, often misinterpreted to suit training bias.
4. Core stability is…
Movement professionals could be forgiven for warmly embracing strategies on this ubiquitous training concept originating within their own specific domains while appearing wary of approaches from related but different fields. Those from strength and performance background fashioned core training to match this force focussed profile. Rehabilitation based professionals oversaw the evolution of a ‘motor control’, low intensity version of their own core stability approach. Both camps could mutually discredit their conceptual adversary as neither could achieve the goals of the other.
5. Functional… no, wait a minute ‘neuromuscular training’ as the new core stability
As the core concept became ever diverse, and increasingly diluted, some commentators dispended with ‘core stability’ replacing this apparently redundant term with the equally vague ‘functional’ or currently popular ‘neuromuscular training’. Although change was required many of the applications/research findings related to pain, movement and recruitment were also disregarded as the new fashion demanded whole body integrated movement, performed at fatiguing intensity.
Next week 6 – 10!