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Solving for “Why:” Breaking Down Applied Functional Science

Different physical therapy offices use different techniques. Even between the physical therapists at i’move, our different backgrounds and passions affect the tools we use to solve your pain. Yet as a whole, what separates i’move from other practices is its application of applied functional science (AFS). AFS isn’t something you can just Google to understand. Lots of theories and examples fall under the umbrella of AFS, but a better answer comes from the PTs who are certified as Fellows of Applied Functional Science (FAFS). Lucky for us, we have a lot of those on hand.

For those curious about our philosophy, here’s a breakdown of the groundwork we use to treat our patients.

The “What?”
We’ve talked about biomechanics before, and AFS is similar. Biomechanics involves analyzing and reworking the puzzle pieces of your body to eliminate pain. However, biomechanics are specific to certain joints or parts of the body – the biomechanics of your shoulder are different than those of your knee, and so on. AFS, on the other hand, takes all the pieces and puts them together as a whole, examining how your body moves together. When a physical therapist looks at your symptoms, they’re going to examine the entire chain reaction instead of a singular hurting part.

The “Where?”
Have pain during a squat? The real root may come from your ankles. Trouble running? It could come from a head tilt. Some patients start under the assumption that if your foot hurts, physical therapy should only treat said foot. But the “where” of AFS is more than that. A dynamic approach is needed to meet the demands of the real world. Patients need enough adaptability to move the way life needs them to, whether that’s carrying a potluck dish to the table or securing a wiggling baby into the car seat. With total body examination, patients get total pain relief through holistic exercise and treatment. Basically, there’s no single “where” in AFS. It’s everywhere.

The “Why?”
We’re all imperfect people. The reasons people come to physical therapy vary and every journey is different for each patient. We all could probably improve something about our posture or the way we throw a ball. The difference is that i’move is solving for your “why,” the reason you have come to physical therapy. We’re not here to make you perfect, we are here to fix the pain points and help you reach your goals. Instead of treating textbook issues, our physical therapists treat people. Your personal goals and reasons for physical therapy drive us to do what we do.

So, why use AFS? Because it helps you feel better at the end of each session. Your body tells you when it’s angry, and we’re not here to aggravate it. Using a holistic approach, we treat the true source of your pain, instead of the part that’s just hurting. AFS helps us treat the larger picture, allowing us more moments where patients say “that felt better.”

For more information on AFS, feel free to talk with our own Physical Therapists Whitney Rodriguez and Brooke Meinema, who made this article possible. Physical therapy at i’move uses AFS to personalize your treatment one-on-one with the same physical therapist working by your side. Learn how to start your journey with i’move.

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