In this free webinar, Drs. Jan Dommerholt and Nate Mayberry will present an alternative evidence-informed approach to exercise programs with your patients. Many physical therapists, chiropractors, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, and personal trainers, among others employ an “internal-focus” approach to exercise, but recent studies suggest that in many cases, an external approach may be preferred. Where an internal-focus approach is directed at the patient’s own body movements reflected in the directions the therapist will give to the patient, i.e., “place your right foot here, bend your knee and turn your trunk to the left,” which is body-focused language, an external-focus approach is always directed at the effects that a patient’s movements will have on the immediate environment. With an external focus, patients may be instructed to stand on an unstable surface, while hitting flashing lights with a stick.
This webinar includes a brief overview of the current research on external-focus training with an emphasis on the OPTIMAL Theory of Motor Learning, where OPTIMAL is an acronym for Optimizing Performance Through Intrinsic Motivation and Attention for Learning. Next, we will present several interesting cases from our physical therapy practice.