The Simplicity of Reshaping Motor Control

Movement emerges as a function of the interaction: Task – Environment – Individual. Period.

No matter whether the movement is voluntary (anticipatory, feedforward) or involuntary/responsive (reactive, feedback) – movement is planned with the collected information about:

What is my task? Stay standing as my dog jumps up on me; hit this baseball; get out of bed; get up to standing; perform this dive

What does the environment give me? Grassy-frictionless surface; a nearby handrail that is stable; a tailwind…surface heights, friction, and stability are among the most common variables to consider.

What are my resources? Fitness (strength, power, painfree motion); reaction speed; sense of balance

When we as therapists need movement to change, for the good of our patients…we can instruct with feedback, demonstrate, provide manual guidance, and allow them to watch others.

Or…we can bring the desired movement out in them through changes that we make to the environment or task. Recall that CIMT (constraint induced movement therapy), HIGT (high intensity gait training), error-induced learning, external focus training – all of these have their basis in manipulation of a task or environment, to reshape motor control.