Extrinsic vs. intrinsic cues in treatment and rehab

Our body’s are made up of a range of compensations, some good, and others not so desirable. The body will always take the ‘path of least resistance’, which can at times pose as a challenge when trying to improve a certain joint or muscle range in a motor pattern.

There has been much research recently looking into extrinsic (external) vs. intrinsic (internal) cues. You can also view this as conscious vs. subconscious cues. We know that extrinsic- subconscious cues are most successful at generating a quicker change and transition into function, which is why at Everything’s Connected we have incorporated this development into the way we treat and prescribe homework exercises.

Take for example the following video, where the homework exercise was prescribed to improve front hip external rotation. The tendency was to perform this movement via using excessive front knee compensation to generate the desired motions. Instead of asking the patient to keep their knee in- line and over their foot position (an intrinsic cue), by placing a chair just medial to the front knee, we could stop this compensation, changing the exercise to a more extrinsic cue, which in turn makes it more task-based and resonates with developing a new motor pattern for the movement.

This blog post was written by the osteopaths at Everything’s Connected Osteopathy.  Everything’s Connected Osteopathy is your premier osteopathic clinic located in Camberwell Melbourne on Riversdale Road.  Everything’s Connected Osteopathy are osteopaths who use movement to assess and treat musculoskeletal disorders.  At Everything’s Connected all osteopaths have nutrition qualifications and are focused on an active treatment and management plan.  Our clinic sees patients of all ages, ranging from children to the elderly.  Common conditions typically presenting to the clinic include sports injuries, osteoarthritic related aches and pains, neck pain, back pain, weight loss and upper and lower limb injuries.  To find out more about us at Everything’s Connected Osteopathy, click on the link here.   Everything’s Connected Osteopathy is located at 734 Riversdale Road, Camberwell.  We are a short 5-minute drive from Camberwell Junction and a 2-minute walk from Riversdale Road Train Station.   Appointments can be made by calling us on 03 98886176 or emailing reception@everythingsconnected.com.au.

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