The Movement Corner
The Movement Corner
deconstructing the human movement experience

Movement, Pain Science, posture, and more!

At the Movement Corner, Dr. Jim Heafner PT, DPT, OCS focuses on integrating the complex neuroscience of pain with the biomechanics of movement. In other words, a modern approach to the mind body connection.

Why The Focus on The Connection between Pain and Movement?

Surprisingly, numerous studies demonstrate a very weak or even nonexistent relationship between posture and pain. In other words, biomechanical faults don’t often have clinical significance in regard to pain. These unsupported ideas are magnified through vivid anatomical imagery. Each human body has differences in skeletal structure, which can alter what their “normal” posture looks like. A resting posture is simply a single data point in time, and doesn’t demonstrate the human body’s true capacity to move, bend, twist, produce force or absorb load. Experts generally agree that “your next posture is your best posture,” so keep in mind that regular breaks are important, along with engaging in regular movement.

For this reason, the movement corner is dedicated to improving the relationship between these two fundamentally human elements!


Pain, while unpleasant, is an essential part of life. It’s a personalized experience that’s heavily dictated by an individual's environment, context and belief system. With a primary purpose of protection and survival, pain can appear in all shapes and sizes. Some of these pain experiences appear to make sense, while others can leave us perplexed. Pain can prevent you from going for a jog if you sprain your knee. It can teach you that placing your hand on a hot stove is a bad idea. Pain can let you know to seek treatment if you have an infection or broken bone. Pain can also prevent you from getting out of bed if you dread your job or if you’ve recently lost a loved one. Additionally, pain can trigger you to change your lifestyle if you’ve recently had a heart attack. Pain can drive emotion and physical activity just as much as emotion and physical activity can drive pain. There’s a constant interplay between all aspects of the human body and pain impacts each person in a unique manner that’s one hundred percent dependent upon context and individual factors.


Posture is defined as “the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose.” In other words, it is the way someone positions their body for various activities. Those activities can include anything from sitting in a car to cleaning underneath your kitchen sink. One’s posture is the body’s position during any and all tasks. It is constantly changing and adapting to meet your current environment. When you confine your posture to a limited space, such as a car, there is minimal movement and adaptation available. Sore, achy, and fatigued muscles are a common result. 

Traditionally held beliefs attempt to link “poor posture” or “bad movement” to one’s pain. However, when discussing the literature surrounding movement and tissue damage, it is evident that “good posture” appears to be mostly irrelevant to pain. In other words, the research does not support either “good” or “bad” posture. In Jim’s car example above, he was quite sore and achy despite sitting in what he understood to be “perfect posture.” Simply tucking his chin or using a small support in his low back would not have alleviated his aching muscles.

Deconstructing the Movement Experience


Train yourself to identify dysfunctional movements

Collaborate with other movement specialists

Get client's healthier quicker


Picture Analysis

A picture tells a thousand words! In our picture movement analysis, we use the application, Skitch, to breakdown static postural impairments. While static posture does not always correlate to dysfunction, it is a great step towards identifying movement problems.

Video Analysis

Our video analysis uses the Coach's Eye video application to breakdown and analyze movement dysfunction. Each video identifies the poor movement and discusses common reasons why it may occur. 


About The Anatomy of Human Movement

There is a reason 80% of people suffer from low back pain and nearly 33% have a recurrent episode of pain. Healthcare professionals are not addressing the cause of our client's problems.


In physical therapy school, i learned how to treat isolated impairments. For example, i could identify decreased ankle range of motion or poor gluteal strength; yet, i struggled to switch from treating impairments to maximizing function. While this approach helped people have less pain, it did not address their problem: poor movement patterns. 

The movement corner deconstructs the human movement experience! Through my experiences as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS), training through the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), and coursework in the OPTIM Manual Therapy Fellowship, i am now helping people have less pain faster than ever!  

Other endeavors: & author of The Guide to Efficient Physical Therapy Examination


The brain is detailed map of all of our movements patterns. If we feed the brain with strong, dynamic postures, our body can efficiently complete complex movements. However, in the presence of bad posture and injury, the detailed map becomes blurry and disorganized.  The Movement Corner analyzes dysfunctional movements to help people optimize their movement experience!  




The Movement Corner has made me a more efficient clinician! I am more confident in my movement assessment and no longer have uncertainty when working with clients. As a student physical therapist (SPT) the video analysis was extremely beneficial. It is more thorough and incorporates concepts I didn’t learn in school. The Movement Corner has made me a more efficient clinician! I am more confident in my movement assessment and no longer have uncertainty when working with clients. As a student physical therapist the video analysis was extremely beneficial. It is more thorough and incorporates concepts I didn’t learn in school.
— -St. Louis University SPT
Incredible resource! The Movement Corner is a mix of Shirley Sahrmann’s Movement Impairment Syndromes & the SFMA. As a new grad, the picture and video analysis has made my examination so much faster.
— Mike Zelyez PT, DPT

Example Picture Analysis

Planks are a standard core workout requiring full body stability. In the full plank, the entire body should be in a straight line. In the picture below, the head is positioned forward. This posture is a sign of weak deep neck flexors (important stabilizers of the neck).  

Additionally, the shoulder blades are both winging off the torso likely indicating strength or motor control deficits of the scapular muscles.


Example Video Analysis



The lower trapezius is an important shoulder stabilizer. When the lower trapezius is weak, the body will search for other muscle groups to help raise the arm overhead. Since the person in the video has a weak lower trapezius muscle, he has resorted to using his obliques and quadratus lumborum (a trunk muscle) to assist with the movement. As he raises his arm, he activates the left external obliques, which causes trunk rotation to the right. 

The inability to raise the arm when positioned overhead is often due to poor scapular (shoulder blade) strength, specifically the lower trapezius muscle. The lower trapezius is an important shoulder stabilizer. When not working properly, individuals often have shoulder or neck pain. This muscle is frequently weak in people with shoulder problems due to the forward head, rounded shoulders posture seen across the population.

To raise the arm overhead, a person needs to have adequate thoracic extension and rotation range of motion. People with an increased thoracic kyphosis have difficulty reaching overhead and often report pain in the anterior (front) shoulder. Try this on yourself now! Sit in a slouched position and attempt to raise the arm overhead- it will likely be limited and potentially painful. 

Interview Series


Connecting with Movement Specialists

The Movement Corner connects you with TOP movement experts. The interview series delves into movement assessment, pain management, treating patients, and life skills. 

Enjoy this short clip from the interview with Dr. Ryan DeBell.

Ready to Get Started? Purchase Today!


Purchase The Movement Corner Online Ebook

  • Unlimited picture analysis
  • Unlimited video analysis
  • Access to The Movement Corner interview series
  • Receive The Movement Corner newsletter