Physical Therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective treatments for musculoskeletal injury or pain. Physical therapists use manual (hands on) therapy such as massage and joint treatments, therapeutic exercise and physical agents such as ultrasound and electrotherapy to speed healing and get you back to normal living as soon as possible.
Dr. Erickson is a board certified orthopedic specialist with advanced training in post-surgical care to help you recover as fast as possible. If surgery is needed, physical therapy is usually helpful and necessary to restore your strength, movement, coordination, balance, etc. to help you return to your pre-surgical level of function.
“Mark was my physical therapist after a total knee replacement. The replacement was complicated because of muscle contractures which didn’t allow me to straightened my knee. His healing methods and encouragement have allowed me to resume my normal activities.”
Whether you have low back pain, whiplash, headaches or any of the conditions listed below, modern pain science tells us that persistent pain is a multi-system disorder. It involves muscles, tendons, nerves, hormones, fight or flight reactions, stress and the central nervous system.
The good news is that treatment that targets the underlying problems is typically very effective. Dr. Mark Erickson has specialized in addressing persistent pain by integrating modern pain science (link to Neuromatrix article???) to help you feel better and enjoy life more. The focus is on retraining your muscles using hands on manual therapy and body awareness techniques resulting in tension and less pain.
Click here to learn more about conditions that are helped by physical therapy. http://www.moveforwardpt.com/SymptomsConditions.aspx
Dr. Erickson designed and implemented the Performing Arts Clinic for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (now UW Health). He worked exclusively with the UW Marching Band, the UW Dance Program and the UW School of Music. Mark is a faculty member at the prestigious Schwob School of Music SummerFlute Festival at Columbus State University, UW Madison Cello Institute and was the invited practitioner at the Andover Educators International Conference 2013. He has treated dancers and musicians from children to professionals for rehabilitation after injury, prevention of injury, and to enhance their performance quality through body awareness training.
“One session with Mark was revelatory. He provided instant insight into my physical habits and patterns of tension which has led to a lasting and improved whole-body awareness.” —Professional Musician and Flute Professor
“Like many performing musicians, I have had a constant struggle with muscular-skeletal issues due to the stress brought about by the sports elements of our profession. While they have not been career threatening, they do impact my expressiveness as a orchestral conductor, particularly lower and upper back issues. Seeing Mark brought insight into how I might deal with these ailments more effectively on my own, and in addition, his ability to manipulate movement in my body also helped immediately address and alleviate pain I had been experiencing. Sometimes the solution to a problem is not on the level of the problem itself, and by spending time working on legs and ankles for instance, he was able to make drastic improvement addressing lower back discomfort; this has already increased not only my expressive ability and freedom on the podium, but it has simply improved the quality of my life. Mark is a healer and a man who is compassionate/generous. He is able to explain the why and what of his approach as a Feldenkrais practitioner with clarity and economy, which for those of us who tend to be analytical helps post-session. I recommend him to artists looking to increase their artistic expression and for those needing to relieve chronic pain. I am completely confident he will help you as he did me.” —Professional Orchestral Conductor
Dr. Erickson is Board Certified by the American Physical Therapy Association as an Orthopedic Specialist. He has worked with competitive and recreational athletes from age 7 to 89. He also teaches Orthopedics and Sports Physical Therapy examination and treatment. Dr. Erickson integrates his expertise in Biomechanics, Kinesiology and Body Awareness Training to help athletes 1) recover as fast as possible from injury or surgery, 2) prevent injury, and 3) improve performance quality through body awareness training.
What is Body Awareness Training?
Body Awareness Training (BAT) is the missing link to better performance , better function and better living. It provides incredible insights into your movement patterns and introduces you to new and more efficient ways to move through creative teaching using the Feldenkrais Method (link). The Feldenkrais Method uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this Method, you can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, decrease pain, enhance breathing, improve balance, prevent injury, improve athletic/sports performance and discover greater ease of everyday functional activities.
By expanding the self-image through movement sequences that bring attention to the parts of the self that are out of awareness, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your functioning movements. Patients become more aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities and expand options for new ways of moving. By increasing sensitivity the Feldenkrais Method assists you to live your life more fully, efficiently and comfortably. Learn More
Who Benefits from Body Awareness Training?
Anyone interested in getting better at any activity that involves movement or static postures can benefit from BAT. You will likely benefit from BAT if your goal is to:
- Sit or stand for prolonged periods with less discomfort or fatigue
- Walk easier and/or faster
- Get in and out of a car or up from a chair easier
- Decrease tension, stress and anxiety
- Prevent injury associated with lifting, pushing or pulling
- Decrease persistent pain
- Enhance balance and coordination
- Prevent falls
- Improve sports performance
- Enhance your abilities as a performing artist
What Happens in a Body Awareness Training Session?
BAT consists of two primary formats.
- Awareness Through Movement (ATM) Lessons teach through a verbally directed sequence of movements in basic positions such as sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. A lesson generally lasts from 30 to 45 minutes and consists of comfortable, easy movements that gradually evolve into movements of greater range and complexity.
These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, and moving. Many are based on developmental movements and functional activities (reaching, standing, lying to sitting, looking behind yourself, athletic movements, etc.), some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. There are hundreds of ATM lessons, varying in difficulty and complexity, for all levels of movement ability.
The emphasis is on learning which movements work better and noticing the quality of these changes in your body. Through increased awareness, you will learn to and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility, coordination, ease of movement and better performance.
- Functional Integration (FI) Lessons are hands-on learning sessions in which the practitioner guides your movements through touch and gentle handling techniques. It is a blend of tactile and kinesthetic communication/learning. The practitioner communicates how you organize your body and, through gentle touching and movement, conveys the experience of comfort and ease of movement while you learn how to reorganize your body’s movement patterns in new manner for easier and more efficient functioning.
In both ATM and FI, the practitioner creates an environment in which you can learn comfortably and effectively. Dr. Mark Erickson at Insight Physical Therapy is one of only 13 Feldenkrais Practitioners in Wisconsin and one of only 6 who are also physical therapists. He has been certified for 21 years and has been integrating these methods into his physical therapy practice for 30 years.