Prof. Ted Carrick and the eyes, and some cursory thoughts on gait and brain function as a whole.  We have been blessed to learn from this man and those from his institute, come listen and find out why.

The movements of the eyes are keys to human brain function and movement such as gait.  What kind of eye stuff you ask ? 

How are your clients eye pursuits, saccades, VOR, vergence, OPK or fixation abilities ? All 6 of these are necessary for normal eye and brain function. Without these working properly gait can also be impaired and muscles will not function correctly if they are tied directly to the gait and movement systems.

This is just the tip of the ice berg however.  What about the function of your client’s basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum, mesencephalon, cortex, or the vestibular system, as a small sampling. What about the tracts that feed and interconnect all of this stuff, like the corticospinal, vestibulocerebellar, spinocerebellar, rubrospinal, recticulospinal, or vestibulospinal tracts, to name a few ? What about the lobes of the brain, the frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal ?  

Dear gait brethren, you must see that human function is about the nervous system. Nothing happens to the end organ receptors, the muscles, joints, motor patterns and others without proper orchestration of the central, peripheral and autonomic systems. Gait is nothing short of a miraculous event bringing all of the nervous system’s amazing parts into a beautiful symphony of timed and rhythmic events, arm swing, balance, vision, proprioception, postural restrain from gravity and so much more. 

Don’t get too caught up in the latest greatest treatment fad or exercise on the web without understanding that safe, effective, efficient, pain free human locomotion is a product of the orchestra’s grand conductor, the brain.  
The brain is organized beautifully. Do you find yourself over and over again activating your client’s proximal flexors ? You are plugging into the rubrospinal pathways, and perhaps that is not where the golden honey and buscuits are found.  And if you find yourself delving into your client’s distal extensors ? Well, you are plugging into their recticulospinal pathways. How about their proximal extensors ? … . lateral vestibulospinal pathways.  Treatment cannot, and should not, be random. There is a recipe and a right way.  You are either part of your client’s solution or part of their problem. 

Thank you for your brilliance Dr. Ted Carrick, you have changed our lives and those that want the deeper answers as to why and how.  When you know these answers, you don’t need to dip into the latest greatest super double chocolate fudge brownie ice cream “exercise” of the week, when cool and calculated pure Vanilla bean at the right place and the right time will serve as the best answer … .  if you know what you are dealing with, and if you have the right tools.

More on this fun stuff another time. Have a great week gait brethren !

Shawn and Ivo

the gait guys