The Key Approach model helps to delineate ‘what’s wrong’ and the Key Moves® Programme of Therapeutic Exercise and Movement Classes are a logical response to this – developed specifically to address the more common movement difficulties encountered  in people with spinal pain and related musculoskeletal pain syndromes.

Altered movement behaviours are habitual and learned, and ‘feels normal’ to the patient. Prescribing and retraining functionally useful motor control exercises is a therapeutic skill and often tricky for the patient to master. The Key Moves® exercise programme provide a progressive series of exercises that can be used with clients in a one-on-one clinical setting and also in small group therapeutic exercise classes to help retrain movement patterns.

The Fundamental Patterns of movement for the pelvis and shoulder girdle are taught mindfully, enabling the development of breath control, deep inner core control with appropriate global muscle activation. The programme ‘trains the brain to ease the pain’ and simultaneously improves the integrated function between the spine and proximal limb girdles and between them and the rest of the body. The aim is to improve the clients ‘neuromuscular fitness’.

Most clinical practice client populations will not be able to properly execute more than a few motor control exercises as part of their home routine – they simply can’t feel or properly remember what to do! Exercises to redress stiffness are an easier option yet these too can go pear-shaped if the client can’t master the basic motor patterns which underlie effective functional control. Supervision is necessary to optimise motor relearning. 

Key Moves® for Movement Therapists

The Key Moves® Programme is a meld of contemporary research, observed clinically common dysfunctions found in spinal and related pain populations, and an understanding of healthy patterns of movement control.

Principles and protocols can be applied to other movement disciplines to  guide the practitioner’s choice in each individual situation. Applying the Key Moves® principles to pilates, yoga, tai chi  and other forms of exercise is appropriate for clients with dysfunction or pain, and  helps ensure better spinal health and well-being. Daily clinical experience shows us that people are often doing other exercise and fitness programmes that are adding to their musculoskeletal problems not easing them. Incorporating the Key Moves® principles into the client’s current exercise programme allows for a safer and more functionally tailored exercise programme – which is both rehabilitative and preventative. 

Pilates’ is currently de rigueur – yet with benefits and pitfalls. (See my latest published paper on ‘The Core; and also: Unravelling core stability) Unfortunately, what is now delivered as ‘Pilates’ varies widely and therefore people seeking clinical pilates, may attend gym classes or similar that are not appropriate for their level of function – the same applies for yoga.

While undoubtedly, the Pilates approach has helped many, there are also many who develop a diverse array of covert or overt symptoms – an increase of neck pain and headaches; various proximal and limb pain disorders – and an increase of their low back pain – not to mention ‘tendonitis’ and the other …’itises’

The Key Approach aids the thinking pilates and yoga practitioner’s, helping you to better address each individual’s particular problems in a more specific and therapeutic way. The approach will enable you to have a deeper understanding of the causes of movement dysfunction, what drives this dysfunction and pain and provide you  skills to alleviate your clients movement dysfunctions.

The model delineates clinical subgroups and provides insights to help you understand not only which populations are more likely to benefit from a more standard pilates or yoga approach, but also those for whom you will have to adopt a somewhat modified approach.

The model also provides insight into healthy functional control and adaptive motor control patterns.  This helps you anticipate which strategies the client will adopt for control and the cues you may need to use to improve the response.

Learn more about The Key Moves® programme in our one day workshops: Key Moves 4 Spinal Rehab