ATMs are a new approach to treating musculoskeletal disorders. Their specificity and immediate effect provide new avenues in the professional outpatient and sports medicine setting. What's unique about the ATM2 concept is that once the user is transitioned to a pain free movement and full range of motion is restored continued training on the device leads to plasticity within the CNS that 'imprints' the new movement pattern into memory.
The Central Nervous System (CNS) governs the dynamic movement stability components of your musculoskeletal system. These components work throughout the anatomical structures of the musculoskeletal system. Normal dynamic stability provides the healthy body with the ability to perform normal, good quality, low-energy / high-efficiency movements. In the case of pain, the CNS will change its neuromuscular activation strategy, to a high energy / low efficiency movement. This altered CNS movement control is clearly visible and recognizable in the presence of pain.
Active Therapeutic Movements (ATM®s) provide immediate and long-lasting benefits to many back, neck, shoulder, pelvis, hip, and knee sufferers. By definition ATMs consist of a few active neuromuscular movements superimposed upon a specific passive holding. ATMs aim to immediately alter symptoms, by affecting the Central Nervous System (CNS) control of muscle activation patterns which directly impact ranges of motion. The ATM2 is a clinical tool designed to enable the user to effectively transition from a previously painful range of motion to one that is complete, and totally free of pain.
This process is automatic and requires no volitional movement from the end user. Once these muscles are engaged, sequenced and reactivated the muscles may be continuously conditioned through routine training sessions on the ATM2 leading to an enhanced level of performance.
A few (10-30) movements are performed towards the impaired movement. The passive holding is an essential setup for the ATMs, because it will ensure that the superimposed active movement will alter the CNS activation strategy form pathological to normal. In this starting position the active neuromuscular training will be of therapeutic value, and produce immediate pain reduction and improved range of motion. Perhaps due to improved CNS governed dynamic stabilization of the specific movement.
This is a crucial point to truly understand the benefits ATM's can have on your condition and performance. Most chronic pain sufferers have a 'stretching' and warm up routine down. However, have you ever wondered how come every time you head out to perform this routine you find the same exact muscles are cold and tight? Why is it that the stretches you do so religiously never seem to have any cumulative or lasting effect?
When the core support system of muscles in your spine are not properly engaged the Central Nervous System (CNS) looks for support and stabilization elsewhere. It recruits what's known as secondary stabilizers. These are the muscles that are chronically 'tight', in spasm and easily fatigable. These muscles are not designed to stabilize the spine. From an anatomical standpoint simply looking at their location leads you to this conclusion. These muscles are all superficial muscles that are designed to be utilized as primary movers of your skeletal system. Not as an intricate support network for spinal stabilization. When they are recruited by the CNS to stabilize the spine they eventually fatigue and fail. This leads to pain in the affected muscles, reduced range of motion and faulty biomechanics that lead to repetitive stress and injury. No amount of warming up or stretching will have a lasting effect on the length and function of these muscles so long as the CNS is engaging them to stabilize the spine.
In conclusion The ATM2 can improve muscle activation patterns in just a few minutes, which leads to the following immediate outcomes:
- Immediate increase in ROM: Increases efficiency and usage of the core stabilization muscles (multifidus/transverse abdominus) causes immediate relaxation of global movement muscles which result in immediate increase in ROM, with out ever doing inefficient and potentially harmful stretching exercises.
- Immediate increase in strength: The ATM2 causes muscle sequencing to become more efficient in that less muscle activity achieves stronger more sustained outputs.
- Immediate reduction in pain: Inefficient and wasteful noise related to the human body being inherently unstable (in the upright, functional position) is significantly diminished - thus more efficiency of movement which leads to more strength and better movement across joints. Furthermore, the ATM2 causes muscle activity to balance out with in the body and facilitate painful movement to become totally pain-free by transition the CNS from a painful movement strategy to one that is free of pain.