Some notes on Kinetic Control (Part 1)

Posted on March 18, 2015

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I recently finished the book Kinetic Control: The Management of Uncontrolled Movement, by Mark Cornerford and Sarah Mottram.

Kinetic Control

This book goes through assessing movement for the neck, upper back, lower back, and hip. Along with some primers on philosophy and methodology to get things started.

I’m going to have various posts discussing aspects of the book. You’ll be able to see the those posts here. To start, I’m going to cover some general likes and criticisms. I’ll get more specific in future posts.

In the utmost general sense, I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it.

Good: Shirley Sahrmann

It starts with a foreword and subsequent endorsement by Shirley Sahrmann, which should grab the attention of anyone with any knowledge of this stuff.

Biggest criticism: The length and structure

This thing is too long. It’s a whopping 544 pages. Length itself isn’t an issue necessarily -although I think for a lot of us it doesn’t matter how good the book is, much like a movie, length can wear you down- but a lot of the pages repeat themselves.

The reason for this is once the book moves into specific assessments, it gives things like a scoring card for each assessment. Since the book has 82 tests, that’s an extra 81 pages right there. Ok, maybe you’d want to show the score card more than once, but you don’t need to do it 82 times. Or if you do want to show the card for every test, because there are often differences, then put it in an appendix. Or an online link. It’s easier to print or use that way anyways.

Each assessment also goes over certain things that are repeated for every assessment. How the practitioner cues the person to start. Or feedback techniques to use during each test. (Palpation, visual, tape, cueing.) Or scoring methodology. For example, if you’re testing for one thing, say anterior glide, but you also see another fault, you only score for what you’re observing (anterior glide). You save the other movement fault for when you assess that specific movement.

That’s all well and good, but you don’t need to say it for every – single – test. Have a list of commonalities before all the tests, or throw a reminder in here and there. That should be sufficient.

All the tests which have one starting position, sitting for instance, could be grouped together. That way you say the starting position only once. If you want to group things by area -lower back, neck, etc.- then you can still group those specific areas by positioning (sitting, prone, supine, etc.) and only say the starting position once for each area.

For the tables which are verbatim each test, I don’t think there is a need show them for every test. Again, we’re talking easily cutting the book length by another ~82 pages.

I have a huge pet peeve with books that I think are too long. I really think this book could have easily been cut by a third, probably in half, which I would have loved. Because while I enjoyed the book, it took me forever to get through. I kept rereading the same paragraphs and tables worried I would miss that extra sentence or wording for that new test, which does happen here and there. If you’re going to show every score card, but 95% of the words are the same, then bold the differences. Something to make it an easier reading experience.

Good: Pain science people can relax

“Cornerford and Mottram have done a thorough job of describing all aspects of what could be considered a ‘psychobiosocial’ model of analysis and treatment of musculoskeletal pain.”

Shirley Sahrmann (foreword)

“Personal factors…and environmental factors…should also be assessed. Personal factors commonly assessed within the context of physical therapy include items such as depression, anxiety, coping skills and cognition.”

David Butler, Lorimer Moseley, your Golden Gods and more, they’re all referenced. The appreciation for other things besides movement influencing pain is addressed.

I bring this up because I’ve seen pain science dickheads completely shit on Sahrmann for not addressing this in her book. She’s well aware of pain science (see her foreword), as are many others. This does need to be explained whenever discussing this stuff, and these authors do so.

Besides, there is only one Golden God. So calm down.

Dennis Golden Dennis Savage Idiot

Criticism: Not enough media

This book is only a few years old. I wish it would have taken more advantage of how easy it is today to implement, in the least, video. Granted, there is a hardcover and Kindle version of this, but then at least attach a CD, have an online link, whatever. I don’t think a couple pictures per test get the job done. Maybe for some tests, but not on average.

I wish there were more pictures going over the various faults. I’m at the stage where reading descriptions of this isn’t much of a problem, but seeing is always better. And then for those who aren’t as familiar with certain anatomy language, I can see this being tough.

The other thing with pictures is it’s hard to appreciate timing. When does a fault occur, opposed to only if it occurs. Video is a big help here.

Good: Lack of anatomy

To reiterate, yes, this is good. These authors get right to it for the most part: We’re going to look at how people move, and work from there. NOT we are going to learn every muscle’s origin, insertion, innervation, then try to apply it.

It’s akin to learning math. It’s better to go, “Hmm, what’s interest mean? What happens when it compounds?” Then learn math. Opposed to learn a bunch of random math, and hope you find application for it later.

Knowing some random anatomy or math can be helpful, but it’s not the primary direction to start with.

For a physical therapy text, there is very little anatomy in this book. It’s not, “This movement is occurring because this muscle is tight, this muscle is weak, we need to stretch here, strengthen here, yada yada.” It’s “This movement is occurring so we need to work on this movement.” Done.

Next post I’m going to start covering the philosophy and methodology more specifically.

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Posted in: Miscellaneous, Pain