Welcome to The Functional Foot. Chad and I are very excited about our new course and the opportunity to share and learn from all of you. For this first “blog” we would like to give a shout out to those who have inspired us in developing The Functional Foot. A huge thank you to Gary Gray and the Gray Institute (http://www.grayinstitute.com/). As a pioneer in the notion of “functional thinking” Gary inspired Chad and I to ask basic questions about movement and consider the myriad of dynamic contributions of the foot to the entire lower extremity. Gary developed what we believe to be the first functional foot seminar “When the foot hits the ground everything changes” back in the late 1980’s. Even at that time, Gary’s footprint left an indelible mark on our path to functional thinking. I am personally indebted to Gary as he took me under his wing when I was a newly developing clinician – gently nudging me to think more practically and to truly appreciate the role of common sense in clinical decision making. I would also like to thank Don Neumann (http://marquette.edu/health-sciences/continuing-ed-grossupper.shtml) for helping me to better understand the function at the hip. Don, like Gary, is an amazing and visual teacher, and his lectures on hip muscle and hip joint function are a must see by every orthopaedic rehabilitation specialist. So, between Gary and Don, I almost understand the relationship between foot function and hip function, with the knee being caught in the middle.
I also welcome you to The Functional Foot! Like Dan, I am thrilled to be a part of this new concept in on-going professional education and development. Our hope is that the participants of The Functional Foot courses will join our network of professionals in continual “on-line” learning opportunities with our “Blog” and “Forum” areas of the website. We look forward to collaborating with you in order to develop your skills, problem solve, inspire, and encourage one another in our practices. We hope that these opportunities will help you (our participants) retain what you learn at our course(s) and be able to more effectively implement your skills with patients in a day-to-day real life world. We would be remiss if we did not recognize our families for their support of this endeavor! Melissa and Jackie, thank you for your help, support, and tireless patience with Dan and I taking pictures of your feet!
From Chad and Dan:
The main point of “The Functional Foot” is to create a collaboration between practicing clinicians (PT’s, PTA’s, AT’s, OT’s, etc.), educators, and other individuals involved in health and wellness promotion for the essential purpose of making us all better at what we do – that of helping our patients and clients. The Functional Foot, as an attendance based seminar, provides hands-on training for examination of and intervention for the lower extremity, with a focus on the foot. The Functional Foot, as a Discussion Board resource, provides an opportunity for participants to interact in discussions relative to treatment ideas, new examination approaches, findings in the research literature, and enhancing an “evidence-based” approach to clinical decision making. And the Functional Foot, as a “blog”, is an opportunity for individuals to contribute insights and challenges to all members – yes, you will be invited to blog with us…and have fun sharing. Our blogs will primarily consist of clinical practice observations, techniques, new ways to manage complex lower extremity problems, and information on new tools to help you and your patients in the clinic. We will also discuss the use of current research to assist us with decision making, beginning with articles on how to efficiently read a research article, critique it for its methods, without getting all hung up on those messy statistics. Chad and I believe that readers place too much emphasis on the “stats” and not enough on the “where did the data actually come from and can I value that data?”
Chad and Dan