How It Works
Unlocking Human Movement
Physio F(x)® is a double-patented movement-based training tool that provides healthcare and fitness professionals with a progressive approach to establish quality movement from their patients or clients. This innovative device promotes neutral and rigid spinal positioning during movement, especially under load. Physio F(x)® utilizes passive external stability to improve active postural stability. In other words, it encourages proper biomechanical technique by providing tactile neuro-feedback to the user’s central nervous system during movement.
Strength is generally associated with creating movement and core strength is a crucial component of quality movement. But what if core strength wasn’t about creating movement? This may come as a surprise, but core strength isn’t about creating movement. It’s about resisting movement and maintaining position while under load.
Without a doubt, one of the primary mechanisms for back injuries is when movement occurs where it shouldn’t. One of the most important aspects of maintaining good positioning (i.e. resisting movement in the spine and promoting movement at the hips) while performing movements such as the squat, deadlift, or picking up a bag of groceries is this idea of a neutral spinal position accompanied by spinal rigidity. Think of your hip musculature as the motor of a car and your spine is the transmission. Maintaining spinal neutrality and rigidity during movement preserves the structural integrity of the spine while promoting proper transmission of the forces generated by your hip musculature.
Femoral movement needs to be independent from lumbopelvic movement at the acetabulum. In other words, movement should happen at your hip sockets, not your back. When this is accomplished, it is known as hip hinging. When this does not happen, or when spinal and hip movements are coupled, spinal neutrality and rigidity are compromised which exposes large amounts of torque and shear force on unsuited anatomical structures which can lead to injury.
Another common violation of spinal neutrality and rigidity occurs at the cervical spine. Far too often, the person in motion will overextend their neck while performing lifts like the squat and deadlift which may be perpetuated by the erroneous cue of “look up/ keep your head up.” This kind of cervical extension is coupled with thoracic flexion which is the embodiment of poor posture. An example of this posture is someone who works at a computer with their head jutted forward (extended neck) and rounded shoulders (thoracic flexion). We want to reverse this by promoting a retracted head position which will encourage cervical and thoracic spine neutrality along with scapular/glenohumeral joint centration.
What about Breathing?
Another key to quality movement that is easy to overlook is proper breathing technique. Breathing correctly greatly improves the rigidity of the lumbar spine which is the most commonly injured region of the spine. To maintain proper spinal rigidity, an individual must learn the skill of diaphragmatic respiration. By doing so, the individual increases intra-abdominal pressure thereby increasing spinal rigidity. In order to breathe diaphragmatically, one must learn to engage respiratory musculature such as the diaphragm, pelvic floor musculature, and abdominal wall musculature while minimizing the use of respiratory musculature that influences movement of the ribcage. When abdominal muscles are engaged and ribcage expansion is minimized, it is known as abdominal bracing. This is an essential feature to achieving spinal rigidity and stability.
Putting It All Together
When all of these components are working together, the body moves like it’s made to move. Normally, learning all of these skills takes hours and hours to master which is why faulty movement is so common. But what if the time to learn these skills could be dramatically reduced? It can! This is why Physio F(x)® was developed. Learning the skills of effective, efficient, and safe movement takes a lot of effort and time. But with Physio F(x)®, these skills can be conveniently acquired much, much quicker.
By making physical contact with the back of the skull, thoracic spine, and the sacrum, a neutral and rigid spinal position is maintained throughout a movement by means of proprioceptive feedback. If contact is lost at any of these points, it lets the wearer know that they have broken spinal neutrality at which point they can reorganize their spine into a neutral position. For example, if contact is lost at the back of the head, the wearer may have too much flexion throughout the thoracic spine. If contact is lost at the thoracic spine, the wearer may be over extending throughout the cervical and/or lumbar spine. If contact is lost at the sacrum, the wearer may not be maintaining a neutral lumbopelvic position. What’s more is that respiratory modification is also an included feature of the device. By wearing the belt around the bottom ribs, rib cage expansion is minimized which cues the wearer to breathe abdominally. With the abdominal wall musculature braced against the pressure of breathing, we are ready to lift!