Balance & Motor Control courses – Questions & Answers

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Balance & Motor Control courses – Questions & Answers

1st February, 2018

What is the B&MC course?

B&MC is a clinical reasoning and theoretical course that aims to provide useful and entertaining information to anybody who works to retrain balance in any clinical population.


Why do you run this course?

In my role as clinical teacher, clinician, and researcher over the past 15 years it has become evident that there is very little opportunity for Physiotherapists to explore ALL the relevant knowledge on human balance in a way that can be immediately applied to their clinical work. In 2005 following my Neuroscience degree, I ran some theoretical courses on Balance titled ‘Neuroscience for Therapists’., which aimed to teach relevant neuroscience to allied health professionals. Since that time, I have accumulated so much more relevant scientific evidence from neuroscientific, human movement and clinical studies – information that is just not included in most mainstream professional education pathways. I believe we need to share and explore this information to improve our ability to retrain balance related problems.


Therapists from what clinical area would find this useful? Neurology, Gerontology, Sports or Vestibular?

This course is for everyone and that is the point! More than ever before we see therapists exploring aspects of balance & motor control that had previously been considered more often in ‘other’ clinical areas. For example, Sports Physios now delve into the whole idea of ‘neuromuscular control’ to help retrain skills for injury prevention and rehabilitation. These types of exercises were often previously discussed more often in the field of neurorehabilitation. Musculoskeletal physios working with people with whiplash and neck injury incorporate oculomotor and balance exercises that resemble exercise protocols used for many years in vestibular rehabilitation! For those working with neurological population, strength & fitness is becoming increasingly important, with therapists designing programs based on dose & function that is very familiar to sports physios & exercise physiologists. Therefore, it’s quite refreshing to explore human balance retraining in the context of ALL clinical populations. The B&MC course aims to cover a diverse range of scientific evidence and package it in a very user-friendly and inclusive way.


What does the course cover?

We discuss some of the interesting theories about motor learning & control, before then exploring what we now know about functional neuroanatomy in relation to movement control. Neuroplasticity is covered in detail; however, we apply this, and continue to revisit these themes in relation to retraining balance skills. Throughout the course we then analyse human balance strategies from top to bottom, and describe how it varies in the presence of dysfunction. We spend considerable time on the idea of ‘super coaching’ for different presentations utilising clinical and neuroscientific evidence. By the end of the 2 days therapists should leave with a comprehensive knowledge of human balance and motor control, with loads of treatment tips to incorporate into their practice straight away.


What are the Advanced Practice days?

Once you have completed the B&MC theory & clinical reasoning course, you can then spend time sharing and exploring many treatment ideas for specific clinical populations.  Nowadays, clinicians rarely have the opportunity to expand their repertoire of treatment skills, exercise prescriptions and rehabilitation plans based on individual cases.  At present, we are developing Advanced Practice days which focus on practical aspects in the areas of vestibular rehabilitation, gait retraining in neurological populations and sports injury management and prevention. More ideas are on the horizon, so don’t be surprised if more Advanced Practical days emerge!