Movement Mechanic
Sam Gibbons

A registered Allied Health Professional governed by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) ensuring you receive the highest standard of therapy.

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Instability signals the brain and nervous system to put the brakes on power output because it feels threatened. A lack of stability is threat to your nervous system. That which enhances performance, prevents injury.

Larry Hamilton
Sam Gibbons

Sam Gibbons

MSc BSc (Hons) GSR DNS-ET

What is DNS?

Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS)

If you’ve made it this far through my website and social medias firstly, well done on your commitment and secondly you’ve probably noticed I blab on about DNS a fair bit!

Well, this is because it is the most comprehensive system of both assessing and treating musculoskeletal issues that I have found. DNS takes into account both mechanics and neurology. DNS was established on developmental kinesiology principals. When a human is born, the central nervous system (CNS) is regarded as “”immature”. This means a new-born is in a reflexive state and unable to produce “purposeful” movement I.e. if you put your finger in a newborns hand they’ll grip it. They don’t know they’re doing it, it’s just a reflex. Compare this to when a horse is born, it’s typically up and on its feet walking around in about 2 hours – as their CNS is more developed (humans take approximately 11-12 months for this to happen)

Why does this matter?

As the newborn human develops a process known as Ontogenesis, the CNS matures (develops). At specific points of this development all (healthy) humans attain the ability to stabilize the trunk, move the limbs with purposeful intent and then build to rotation, crawling, squat and finally walk. All of these occur at what we call “developmental positions” or “landmarks” Now, provided we know what muscles should be doing what in each of these developmental positions we can identify the potential root cause of the issue.

Whilst this basic explanation does sum up the system the rabbit hole goes way deeper in terms of both neurology and appreciating the variance between infant and adult skeletal morphology (bone structure). An in-depth description of this is beyond my skills of a single blog post and unless you geek out on the topic (like me) it can be pretty dry!

It all starts with Intra-abdominal pressure!

In my clinic typically I’ll assess your breathing. This is to see how you use the abdominal muscles and whether you can engage the diaphragm muscle. When the diaphragm contracts it compresses the contents of the abdomen and stabilizes the spine by an increase in “Intra-abdominal pressure” (IAP). This is seen in humans at 3 months of development and forms the stable base from which all movement happens. If you can’t perform this then all other movement is a compensation. The baby isn’t fat but producing perfect IAP so the belly expands instead of sucks in!

This position above, DNS clinicians can assess the quality of the movement below and even train your ability to improve the quality of the movement.

This position below is a personal favorite for treating bothersome knees from severe osteoarthritis all the way up meniscus / ACL tear rehab in football. By loading your arm I can strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes even the intrinsic muscles of the foot whilst ensuring ideal trunk stabilisation and without moving the knee at all!

Let’s just say you can’t produce IAP and stabilize the trunk, yet you want to throw a ball really fast or lift something really heavy overhead. If that stable trunk is not as effective on one side but you managed to complete the task. In order to complete that task, something along the way had to compensate to make up for the less effective part….make sense? This can lead to overuse injuries, muscle trigger points, chronic pain and overall reduced performance (whether that’s elite sport or your am walk).

What's the Goal?

The goal with DNS is to restore ideal trunk stabilisation based on how humans should. Then restore ideal muscular activation based on how humans should. And integrate this into ideal movement patterns focusing on quality over quantity to promote new (or should I say old?) ideal movement patterns. Once this is established it’s all about applying it to your hobbies, sports, movement practice etc to keep injury away and explore the limits of your potential.

This position above, DNS clinicians can assess the quality of the movement below and even train your ability to improve the quality of the movement.

This position below is a personal favorite for treating bothersome knees from severe osteoarthritis all the way up meniscus / ACL tear rehab in football. By loading your arm I can strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes even the intrinsic muscles of the foot whilst ensuring ideal trunk stabilisation and without moving the knee at all!

In Summation

DNS is an applicable therapy whether you’re 10 or 90, a professional athlete or just want to improve your yoga flow. Why isn’t every physio, osteo or chiro trained in this? The truth is it’s difficult to learn, hard to execute effectively in clinic and is a long process HOWEVER, unlike passive quick fixes it sticks and it lasts so as the old saying goes “good things come to those who wait” or something else poetic.

For more information head to www.rehabps.com or feel free to contact me Email

Contact us at movementmechanicuk@gmail.com or give us a call 07535149570

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