This is Dr. Derek Myers at Kinect Rehab, and today we’re going to talk about what functional rehab is.
Functional rehab is correcting pain based on the tissues that are causing the dysfunction.
Whereas traditional rehab maybe the specialist is rehabilitating a knee for knee pain. Functional rehab means I’m going to address all of the tissue that is contributing to that dysfunction. This includes all of the muscles, tendons, and joints that are helping create that pain and create that dysfunction. I’m not just treating the symptom or that area, but fixing the movement.
Motion is key. If it’s not moving right, it’s not moving by itself. Something else is causing that to go wrong.
One of the examples I like to use is IT band syndrome. The IT band is a giant tendon that goes down the outside of the leg and attaches to the outside of the knee. With some runners, they will get pain on the outside of the knee. Now they think it’s a knee problem! However, there’s a muscle in the hip called the glute medius which pushes the knee outward. That muscle develops a problem which makes the IT band have issues, and the pain shows up in the knee as a result of the glute medius!
People will roll and work the IT band and never get the pain gone because they’re not addressing the cause, which is the glute medius. Once we start treating the glute medius, the IT band syndrome goes away. It’s not just getting rid of the pain, it’s getting rid of the problem. That’s the difference between functional rehab and traditional rehabilitation.