One of the most powerful things about working with Neuromuscular Therapy is the ability to find Priority, or the ability to put Dysfunctions in order of importance.


If someone has a complex presentation of symptoms or they have reoccurring pain, then this doesn't necessarily mean they have had the "Wrong Treatment" or an "Unsuccessful Treatment". It often means that the deepest level of dysfunction has not been found.


I often compare this to a weed in the garden. Let's imagine you have a large flowering weed in your garden. If you pull the flowering head off it, the size and visibility of the weed is immediately reduced; but there is a strong possibility that the flower will reappear very quickly.


If you were to cut the stem of the weed off level with the ground, then the weed would effectively be invisible and your garden would look neat and tidy again. But, before long, the stem would start to grow again and the flower and leaves would reappear too.


However if you were to dig down and find the root of the weed, you may have to dig a little deeper and take a little longer, but you would remove the entire problem and you would remove any chance of the issue coming back.


This is what it means to find the Priority. In this case, the flower and the leaves are the problem but they are not the CAUSE of the problem. The problem is the root, the fruiting body.


You can remove the stem or remove the leaves but they will reappear indefinitely.


This analogy maps perfectly on to pain. When we have pain or movement dysfunction, the "bit" that hurts - the muscle, the ligament, tendon, joint, etc; is very rarely the true cause of the problem, it is very often a compensation to another problem.


When the body experiences a trauma it will initiate a compensation to stop the problem caused by the trauma from getting worse. For example, if you hurt your right foot you will immediately start to hobble around on your left foot. This is your body initiating a compensation pattern, changing your movement pattern to reduce the problem. Your body is very efficient at doing this, it is automatic and subconscious, you don't consciously do this.


In this example, you may forget all about your painful right foot as it has stopped hurting. But them you may start to develop issues like left knee pain, or plantar fasciitis in the left foot; or in the long term you may see degradation of the left hip. These are now problems in their own right, but they cannot be solved in isolation as they are not the cause.


In clinic we would take a full history, observe posture, observe movement and then use a PDTR exam to find the root cause of the problem.


If we can find the root cause then we have a great chance at producing true, lasting change.


Stop treating symptoms and start treating causes.