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can anyone recommend a reputable specialist who can conduct functional movement analysis for imbalances(vancouver/whistler areas)?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

can anyone recommend a top notch fitness coach who can also conduct a ''functional movement analysis''

(specifically for skiing) in the vancouver/whistler area as below? while i see people in that in my area, i'm not

sure of the reputation/legitimacy of this organization/philosophy so am open to other practitioners too from other disciplines (ref from ski coaches etc)

http://www.functionalmovement.com/SITE/# 


 I'm 49 and looking to ramp up my ski skills over summer for next season (getting out another 55x), yet there are certain persistent physical imbalances that are a bit of a hindrance in my skiing... i.e., i have one leg ''2/3"of an inch longer (don't know if it's truly skeletal, or a hip imbalance or whatever but one leg turns easier than the other)...

...also finds it affects my cycling: ie the longer leg is 1-2 inches further along the pedal to properly line up both hips for power transfer (don't use cleats..not a racer).

 

I would like to have someone with an excellent professional reputation who works with ski athletes and is qualified to do a functional/movement assessment (?) and then from there make out a set of exercises/streteches to improve any imbalances so I can be in much greater skiing shape come this fall...

 

as far as my gear goes, I am also looking into getting my boots shimmed too with custom liners etc, as well from Sure Foot or Can Ski or Top Shelf Boots in Whistler

once an additional allignement of my boots is also done.

 

(feel free to recommend any top ski coaches at whistler/blkcomb too)

 

I don't mind paying $$ if the quality is there...and even if I had to go visit another part of BC or to WA or OR for such a sport specific assessment, I'd be open to it, too. (could be a nice vacation).

 

cheers and thanks for any feedback


Edited by canali - 4/29/11 at 2:52pm
post #2 of 17
I'm going to lurk here because I'd love to hear what you'd call such a person so I could look for one in SLC. Skewed pelvis here, so like canali I'd love to get my gait analyzed and learn how to mediate the affect on both my walking gait and skiing stance.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

this is one link I came across and related to my query and one who does this functional analysis:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=en&v=E5MoSCrm-lI 

 

I always enjoy going to a therapist and finding out my 'weak spots'...i heartily subscribe

 to the theory that you're only as strong as your weakest link.


Edited by canali - 4/29/11 at 3:36pm
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post

my ex gal did offer to save me such an undertaking of finding a specialist by offering to take a very large sledgehammer to help ''straighten me out''  in that region, but I ...uh..er...um...politely declined. biggrin.gif

Ouch!

One effect of my pelvic weirdness is a functionally longer right leg, which made my left turns really messy and caused constant edge-catching on flats. My boot fitter dished out the right insole to angle my right leg more medially in the boot, so now I have both a right and a left turn and I hardly ever catch an edge now. Unfortunately my skies are now pigeon-toed when running flat which makes side-slipping, heavy powder and crud challenging, but being able to turn and ski straight is great. If I can get some help with the underlying imbalances I'll be able to go back to the shop and replace the altered insole. Oh, and my back wouldn't hurt so much while hiking. Wouldn't it be nice?
post #5 of 17

Good luck Canali. You've got a great plan and if you find such a fitness coach, tip him well. You may get more luck finding a good boot fitter who can give you some exercises vs a fitness coach who can do alignment analysis. And you may have better luck with a physical therapist vs the fitness coach. If you can't find one person that does both well, consider putting a team together to help you plan this thing out.

 

Chiropractors often have a bad rep, but if I were in your boots, I'd at least have a good one look at that hip. If that's fixable to any extent, you want to get that taken care of first. My guess is that you might be able to get some of the leg length difference reduced.

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post

this is one link I came across and related to my query: http://www.functionalmovement.com/SITE/# [/span]
Oops, missed this post. I might go to my old PT first; he once demonstrated my imbalance to some students by manipulating my legs, so maybe he has some training in this kind of thing, and he's a great motivator, just the right ratio of encouragement to verbal abuse. And my insurance covers PT without a referral!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Chiropractors often have a bad rep, but if I were in your boots, I'd at least have a good one look at that hip. If that's fixable to any extent, you want to get that taken care of first. My guess is that you might be able to get some of the leg length difference reduced.

I've had a prejudice against chiropractic based on just one experience with an SI injury where the adjustment held only if I came back 1-2 times a week; in that case it was a PT who did the trick by working on my posture and gait. A friend just recommended a chiropractor who's also an avid skier, but I may still try the PT first because their clinic in Park City is full of very professional and highly-skilled folks and a lot of interesting injured ski/snowboard pros or sports maniacs. Their 20 year old bodies heal a lot faster than this 52 year old one, but they provide motivation. Plus it's an excuse to ride up the canyon and get out of the smog.
post #7 of 17
Canali- do a search on epic ski member Evaino. Her posts contain a link to her website. If she's a great distance from you she can probably give you some refs. In your locale.
post #8 of 17

Have you considered seeing somebody who does Pilates?

 

In a past life, I taught and performed ballroom & latin dance fulltime, and we used to regularly deal with various skeletal alignment and postural issues, because if you can't walk well, you generally can't dance well, either (adaptive aside).  That's a bit atypical for ballroom & latin, but the Pilates folks are big into alignment and would be easier to find.  We found that retraining the movements screwing up our students' bodies took a lot of effort (think of how much effort it takes to retrain 60 years of poor gait), but paid off hugely in both their dancing and general mobility.

 

We'd occasionally refer folks to chiropractors as well, but chiros are tough, because it seems that about 90% of them are awful.  The remaining 10% are worth their weight in gold, but not terribly easy to find.  A good Pilates instructor might know a good chiro in your area, though.  One note on chiro--unless you change the movements that are yanking your body out of alignment to begin with, you'll have to keep going back.  Chiro works best in conjunction with functional retraining to stop screwing yourself up, in my opinion.

 

Massage can also be useful, because you can get muscles to more or less lock up by stretching them around/over screwed up bone structure for long enough.  Those locked-up muscles can pull your chiro's adjustments out of whack, as well as reduce your mobility significantly and make it hard to retrain your movements.

 

The most common problem I saw manifesting in leg length differences was a combination of two things.  Primarily, the pelvis was left "behind" the body because there was insufficient abdominal tone keeping it tucked underneath (note that you can have rippling abs and still not use them to support your pelvis while moving about).  Secondarily, (a) vertebra(e) would get twisted in the lower back, but instead of this manifesting as one hip being more forward than the other as it would if the pelvis were underneath the body, it torques one hip higher than the other, which creates the appearance of a leg length difference.

 

I hope that explanation makes sense.  If not, go look at your dog, and imagine what would happen to his legs if he had something twisted in his lower back that was twisting his hips rotationally about his spine.  If your pelvis approaches the same orientation as your dog's, you'll be subject to the same effect.

 

Good luck!

post #9 of 17

I would walk before trying to run. 

 

There is no point of hiring someone to analyze anything you are doing on your gear till you find the exact cause of the leg length issue and correct it to the best extent possible.  If it's physical (like a serious break, birth defect etc etc) or spinal misalignment or a combination of both you need to address that first. 

 

My "leg length" varies from 1/4" out to 3/4" different depending on how straight my spine is on a given day (spinal fracture / car accident).  Monthly visits to my Chiro keeps me close to "normal" which for me is 1/4" difference in "leg length".  I put a slight lift in one of my boots to help with the difference in leg length. I can feel it out on the hill when I'm out of alignment by more than 1/2" but I manage to adjust after a run or two.

 

I'm not a boot fitter, but I do have to deal with this issue every day I'm out on the hill because my leg length changes depending on my alignment on a given day. Here are a few suggestions. 

I can't imagine a boot fitter trying to correct a 2" plus differential in leg length by only correcting boots.  I would do what you can with your boots, by lifting as much as possible on one side and lowering on the other side as much as possible then use a lift under the binding on the shorter of the two legs.  (UH........don't switch your right and left ski anymore.....ouch !)  Have a well known boot fitter do the work.  (PS....not a big fan of Surefoot here.....just say'n)  Another thought may be how to cant.  I would think some on the boots so you walk "normally" for you.  Some to the ski to insure both are flat on the hill in your normal stance.

 

I think if you can get the base of each ski an equal distance from your CM when standing motionless and straight up, you can then have some movement analysis done.  Thinking about it,  if your stance issue is corrected fully, it shouldn't matter who watches you ski at that point.  Any highly qualified instructor or coach should be able to do an accurate analysis once the gear is correct.

 

For many years I skied with a woman who had Cerebral Palsy who had issues with both her right foot (duck-footed stance) and hand (limited use) and different leg length and alignment issues. Following boot adjustments,  in her case the correction was a different movement pattern had to be learned for left and right turns.  It was the best she could hope for and she learned to work with it.  It turned out to be the only "right direction" to head.

 

Good luck with it !

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 



thanks, DanBoisvert:

 

i had some back xrays done and they showd ''slight curvature ('mile/moderate scoliosis') of lower spine'' eek.gif

yet the doc says this is common with many people (just when I was shi*ting myself)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBoisvert View Post

Have you considered seeing somebody who does Pilates?

 

In a past life, I taught and performed ballroom & latin dance fulltime, and we used to regularly deal with various skeletal alignment and postural issues, because if you can't walk well, you generally can't dance well, either (adaptive aside).  That's a bit atypical for ballroom & latin, but the Pilates folks are big into alignment and would be easier to find.  We found that retraining the movements screwing up our students' bodies took a lot of effort (think of how much effort it takes to retrain 60 years of poor gait), but paid off hugely in both their dancing and general mobility.

 

We'd occasionally refer folks to chiropractors as well, but chiros are tough, because it seems that about 90% of them are awful.  The remaining 10% are worth their weight in gold, but not terribly easy to find.  A good Pilates instructor might know a good chiro in your area, though.  One note on chiro--unless you change the movements that are yanking your body out of alignment to begin with, you'll have to keep going back.  Chiro works best in conjunction with functional retraining to stop screwing yourself up, in my opinion.

 

Massage can also be useful, because you can get muscles to more or less lock up by stretching them around/over screwed up bone structure for long enough.  Those locked-up muscles can pull your chiro's adjustments out of whack, as well as reduce your mobility significantly and make it hard to retrain your movements.

 

The most common problem I saw manifesting in leg length differences was a combination of two things.  Primarily, the pelvis was left "behind" the body because there was insufficient abdominal tone keeping it tucked underneath (note that you can have rippling abs and still not use them to support your pelvis while moving about).  Secondarily, (a) vertebra(e) would get twisted in the lower back, but instead of this manifesting as one hip being more forward than the other as it would if the pelvis were underneath the body, it torques one hip higher than the other, which creates the appearance of a leg length difference.

 

I hope that explanation makes sense.  If not, go look at your dog, and imagine what would happen to his legs if he had something twisted in his lower back that was twisting his hips rotationally about his spine.  If your pelvis approaches the same orientation as your dog's, you'll be subject to the same effect.

 

Good luck!



 


Edited by canali - 4/29/11 at 5:14pm
post #11 of 17

Chris Fellows - North American Ski Training Center NASTC, Truckee, California

 

jim

post #12 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by canali View Post

 

i had some back xrays done and it does show slight curvature of lower spine (doc says this is common with many people)

 


I have been seeing  and will see a Chiropractor for the rest of my life.  There is no permanent correction presently for my condition.  I'm stuck with it.  However........

 

There is a relatively new technology out called Impulse Adjustment.  An Impulse Gun is used to adjust the spine. (kinda like machine gun technology attached to a miniature pogo stick)  Since switching to this new technology 2 years ago there has been considerable improvement with respect to my spinal alignment.  Odds are any Chiropractor who goes to this level of educational and training is probably a winner, and worth a visit. 

 

post #13 of 17

I'm a believer in the team approach.  I started going to a Chiropractor as a last resort for chronic lower back pain.  It started while in the Marines and for years, the Navy docs would give me vitamin M (800mg Motrin).  My first two years out I received pretty much the same treatment but I would get much stronger meds.  I was always doped up and couldn't stand it. I was prone to migraines too.  Was sent to Physical therapy and it was one of the worst and painful experiences.  It ended up that he was treating me for something I didn't have but thought I did because he just went to a seminar on it and I fit the profile (20 years in the military).

 

Finally went to a chiropractor and he very quickly became my hero.  In three weeks my pain was gone and I was off the meds that I had been on for close to 10 years.  He also educated me on several things like body positions and why I was constantly having problems (scoliosis from the waist down).  I now go to him once a month for an alignment.  The silver lining is that by keeping my alignment/back in good order, I keep my migraines in check.  It would travel up my back to my neck and then a migraine.   I went from 2-3 a week to 1 every month or so and usually I can stop the migraine before it becomes full fledged.  He does help me with my injuries too.  I have yet to recommend him to someone that didn't thank me.

 

After an acl injury I went back to PT.  This time I picked a different facility and like with the chiropractor, hit pay dirt.  I'm currently in PT again (3rd injury) and all three times have gone to the same one and she's great.  Educates and coaches.  Simple things have happened that I didn't think would, like my gait changed slightly.  I noticed my feet track closer together and tend to point more to the front than the side like they used to.  I wasn't overly duck footed but my feet did point out.  Through doing the exercises correctly and focusing on my alignment, things sort of fell into place.  On top of that, the Chiropractor I go to is one floor above the PT and they seem to compliment each other.  They each have a bit of respect for each other too.

 

All this has turned me into a fanatic about alignment and form.  I'm constantly watching people and trying to understand why they walk they do. 

 

I know that my issues are different than yours but my point in all this is to highlight the value of a team approach and your own education.  Understanding why and what is going on helps incredibly; at least for me.  The OS, Chiro, PT and boot fitters all know whenever I show up there will be questions.  Fortunately they all seem to enjoy it and know that my questions are based on wanting to do better.

 

You should also consider that most of the folks in the the professions I mentioned, will be at least somewhat familiar with the movements required for skiing.  I really think that getting as close to perfect alignment will give the boot fitters the best foundation for helping correct things.  On that (I'm not a boot fitter so this might be wrong) but if you you're willing to have a left and right ski, maybe do lifters on one ski?

 

And for a point of reference, I had my first chiro visit at 40 and didn't get to the good PT until I was 48.  So I was able to change my alignment after 48 years and it happened in about 6-9 months.  I didn't set out to do it so I don't really know when it happened, but it did change.

 

Best of luck,

Ken

 

post #14 of 17
L&AirC, that's an inspiring story. It underscores what I've started to think about this: I've been dealing with symptoms (shoulder cartilage tears, SI, hip and knee pain, bad left turns on skis) instead of causes. My gait and alignment are as good as they can be with what I know, but aside from supporting my hips with my abs (funny thing--engaging my lats when I walk evens things out some too) and standing up straight I haven't done the hard work of figuring out what to do about it.

BTW, my ski boot insole adjustment also just addresses a symptom. I'm glad for it because this past month or so I've finally felt like a skier, but there'll be a limit to how well I can ski so long as things are all skattywumpous. Let's see if I can stay motivated enough to finally call my man Ted! He may have the skills himself, but is the kind of guy who'll refer me to someone else if I need someone with different expertise.
post #15 of 17

Fortunatley I have never had these issues:

 

But if I did my first call would be to these guys:

 

http://www.vancouversportsphysio.com/1-PhysioTour.html

 

 

Doug is a mate of mine.  I am not sure if "physio" is what you are after, but if they cant help they will know who to forward you to.

post #16 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

I'm a believer in the team approach.  I started going to a Chiropractor as a last resort for chronic lower back pain.  It started while in the Marines and for years, the Navy docs would give me vitamin M (800mg Motrin).  My first two years out I received pretty much the same treatment but I would get much stronger meds.  I was always doped up and couldn't stand it. I was prone to migraines too.  Was sent to Physical therapy and it was one of the worst and painful experiences.  It ended up that he was treating me for something I didn't have but thought I did because he just went to a seminar on it and I fit the profile (20 years in the military).

 

Finally went to a chiropractor and he very quickly became my hero.  In three weeks my pain was gone and I was off the meds that I had been on for close to 10 years.  He also educated me on several things like body positions and why I was constantly having problems (scoliosis from the waist down).  I now go to him once a month for an alignment.  The silver lining is that by keeping my alignment/back in good order, I keep my migraines in check.  It would travel up my back to my neck and then a migraine.   I went from 2-3 a week to 1 every month or so and usually I can stop the migraine before it becomes full fledged.  He does help me with my injuries too.  I have yet to recommend him to someone that didn't thank me.

 

 


This is my experience in a nut shell.  After 24 years of seeing several Chiropractors (a result of moving) I can now tell my Chiro which vertebrae are out of alignment by noticing symptoms my body have that are unrelated to pain.  If I don't get exactly the right spot, it is usually the vertebrae just above or just below the one I think it is.  It is amazing how much discomfort you can be in, in areas other than your spine, that disappear within hours (sometimes minutes) of having a good adjustment.
 

 

post #17 of 17

Canali, agree with most of the above posts, start with chiro analysis. Try to find one that does x-rays and full analysis'. I have the exact problem you have  with the longer leg,etc. I am not saying that this will be your situation, but because of this,my left leg has slightly bowed out over time. As far as every day life, I put heel shims in my street shoes. As far as skiing,definitely see a bootfitter. I saw Burgman (on here) and had to have cuffs adjusted to make up for these differences,etc. However, because the two legs are never really straight together as when we perform other activities ,no heel shims(plus they would interfere how the boot fit).Hope this helps you on the way to go where you are trying to get.   Good luck,   Dave

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