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The Integrated Systems Model – 2 day lecture/demonstration course

Course Description

Do you see patients with recurrent problems and, in the face of limited evidence, question if you are being the most effective you can be in your approach to treatment? When presented with a patient with persistent pain and multiple impairments do you know where to start treatment?

Increasingly, scientific evidence suggests that function of the pelvis is essential for the performance of almost every task. However, how do we know if the loss of pelvic function is the cause of the patient’s primary complaint (the criminal) or merely the victim of an impairment elsewhere. How do we know if the loss of function of the thorax is the cause of the loss of pelvic function? How do we know if the relationship between the thorax & the pelvis is responsible for the failure of the lumbar spine to transfer loads optimally? What role does an old ankle sprain that has left this person with poor foot control play in the function of their pelvis and/or thorax?

The restoration of function and performance depends on being able to identify and treat the underlying source of the problem and it is common to find the pelvis as the criminal in some cases and the victim in others. The same is true for the thorax. Do you have a way of knowing when to treat the pelvis, when to treat the thorax, when to treat the lumbar spine and when to look elsewhere?

This course will introduce the functional interplay between the impairments in body regions and how the Integrated Systems Model can facilitate the understanding and interpretation of each patient’s unique clinical picture.

Who is the Integrated Systems Model for?

The Integrated Systems Model is a framework to help clinicians organize knowledge (evidence and experientially based) and develop clinical reasoning skills to facilitate best decisions for treatment. A key feature of this approach is Meaningful Task Analysis and Finding the Primary Driver. Briefly, this involves choosing tasks to assess that are relevant to the patient’s story (meaningful to the patient’s complaints and functional difficulties), assessing the whole body (strategy analysis of the task) to find the priority region of the body for intervention (the driver), and then developing sound hypotheses as to how the this region relates to other sites of impairment.

Objectives & Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this 2 day course, you will understand:

  1. How the Integrated Systems Model is used to assess function of the whole body, and the concepts of how to determine the relationship between multiple sites of impairment.
  2. How to find the primary driver, the body region that when addressed will have the biggest impact on function and performance.
  3. Once the driver is found how do the findings from active mobility, passive mobility, active control and passive control tests help to identify the underlying system impairments (articular, neural, myofascial, visceral, physiological etc) for treatment choice.
  4. How to design a multimodal treatment program (including education, manual therapy, neuromuscular release, and movement training) to restore function and performance for any patient (from postpartum moms to elite level athletes) since the principles of the ISM approach are applicable to all groups of patients.

Resource Textbook

The Thorax – An Integrated Approach (Handspring Publishing – 2018) is the recommended reading resource for this course and is available here.

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  • 10 Days
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