Freedom to Move

Freedom to move builds on the author’s previous work Back Pain: A movement problem, and aims to support therapists improve their knowledge and understanding of spinal health and dysfunction.

In review: Freedom to move: stock image

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Freedom to Move Josephine Key Handspring publishing ISBN 13 978-1-909141-92-6

The first section offers an overview of functional anatomy of the moving spine and, while this represents a useful refresher for physiotherapists, unfortunately some of the literature is already dated.  It introduces the concept of biotensegrity and the under-recognised and often poorly understood role of fascia in altered movement states. It references the biopsychosocial nature of pain, yet it does not (and cannot) address the psychosocial elements.

The second section concentrates on assessment and management of spinal dysfunction through its focus on altered movement states, building on the biotensegrity concept.  Using models of all shapes and sizes, the section is abundantly illustrated with photos, which is helpful to the reader and a real positive.

This book tries to bridge the divide between a physiocentric exercise practice to more holistic exercise traditions of yoga and Pilates. Key has produced a graded series of exercise classes which can be taught using her  ‘Key Moves’ prescription, a series of movements modified for people with spinal pain. Key has developed this approach over her career and claims good outcomes, but there is no empirical evidence to support this claim.

On balance, this book will appeal to some musculoskeletal physiotherapists, particularly those with an interest in class-based delivery programmes akin to yoga and Pilates.  It is a helpful addition for more novice MSK physiotherapists who want to build their understanding of the role of fascia in movement dysfunction. But the ageing evidence base was a distraction for me and dates this method before it has had the opportunity to be scrutinised.

  • Helen Harte, CSP Professional Adviser

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