When you need to assess how people move, identify their trouble spots, and improve their function, movement screens are critical for your physical therapy practice. You may even have a preferred movement screen or methodology. However, not every movement screen or assessment tool is created equally.

Many conventionally accepted movement screens promise remarkable, insightful results. But, between overly complex scoring systems and approaches that don’t consider how the body truly moves, they often disappoint us. The answer? A functional approach that is built around how the body moves in the real world.

In this blog, we outline how 3DMAPS, our revolutionary approach to functional assessment, can improve how you treat injuries and enrich your understanding of the human body.

What Is 3DMAPS?

The human body operates in three planes of motion. Everything is connected, including problems and solutions, with each movement creating a negative or positive Chain Reaction®. At Gray Institute®, we created 3DMAPS (3D Movement Analysis and Performance System) to analyze all of our body’s three-dimensional, chain-reaction movements, all while factoring in mobility (flexibility) and stability (strength).

Using the 3DMAPS process, practitioners assess range and control of motion with functional movement in mind. This means you consider how people move in real life, and not how they’re supposed to move according to the textbooks. When you understand how people move and where their roadblocks are, you’re empowered to prioritize the best and most logical progressions.

RELATED: How Applied Functional Science Can Change Your PT Practice

3 Reasons Why 3DMAPS Is the Gold Standard of Assessment

1. Your Patients Don’t Think About Their Unconscious Movements

When people move in real life, they don’t consider their body parts’ individual movements. If someone bends to pick up their child, lunges to catch a falling glass, or stretches to retrieve something from the top shelf, these movements don’t resemble textbook exercises, and people don’t think about their hips, knees, or posture as they’re doing them.

However, when a problem arises, they’ll inevitably turn to a physical therapist or another movement professional for help. It’s up to you to be able to assess their true-to-life movements and identify their functional issues. 3DMAPS gives you the tools you need to assess, adapt, and improve your patients’ movements, reducing their pain, and improving their performance.

2. The Body Is a Chain Reaction in Which Everything Is Connected

Individual movements can’t be isolated. You must look at everything as a whole. A labral tear of the hip may seem like an isolated injury. However, the recovery must take into account the effect that injury had on the knees, feet, and spine as your patient recovers. When you consider the healing hip as one piece of a recovery puzzle, rather than an individual problem, a targeted approach allows the injury to heal more thoroughly. It also gives you a chance to address dysfunction in other areas of the body before it begins to impact your patient negatively.

3. 3DMAPS Fully Considers How All 3 Planes of Motion Impact Healing

When you choose an assessment tool, you want one that acknowledges the truths of human movement. Therefore, it needs to consider:

  • How the body moves on all three planes of motion (sagittal, frontal, and transverse)
  • Mobility, stability, and the relationship between them

Unlike other tools, 3DMAPS meets these demands. Using our mobility analysis, you can tell whether someone’s joint movement is restricted and if it’s impacting global body movements in all three planes.

For instance, if the joint is fluid and moves well when you assess its mobility, but is not being used when you tweak the movement to assess stability, it suggests that the patient does not have full control of the joint yet. In this case, movement stability is considered the ability to control as much motion in each of the three planes as possible.

Using 3DMAPS to check for mobility and stability in all three planes of motion lets you focus on your patient’s progress and build a clear path forward.

How to Get Certified in 3DMAPS

If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level and deepen your understanding of Applied Functional Science®, it’s time to enroll in our 3DMAPS certification. Thankfully, even if you can’t travel to a live event, we offer 3DMAPS as an online course, so you can get the training you need from anywhere in the world. Our online courses provide more than eight hours of content, replicating our popular one-day live seminars.

3DMAPS is approved through the FSBPT/ProCert, so you can earn the CEUs you need in over 30 states.

Once certified, you’ll be able to screen your patients’ movements fully and take full advantage of the exciting remote training and assessment tools offered on the Gray Institute App.

RELATED: How Movement Professionals Can Train Clients and Patients Remotely

Gray Institute: Leading the Movement Science Industry for Over 40 Years

At Gray Institute, we’ve been pioneering a person-centered, functional approach to movement for over 40 years. To learn more about how our approach, process, classes can transform your practice, please feel free to review our 3DMAPS course offerings, or to reach out to us directly using our simple online form.

We look forward to hearing from you!