For Physical Therapy In Spokane Valley Call Now! 509.892.5442

Call Now! 509.892.5442


Total Motion Release Exercises (TMR) – Treating Asymmetries to Eliminate Pain

September 15, 2016

Here’s the official PT mantra: to heal pain, you must first identify the ROOT CAUSE of the pain.  Which means that treating pain itself is never a good idea, as the benefits will only be short-lived at best.

If you’ve ever come to one of our “Low Back Pain & Sciatica” Workshops, then you’ve already heard me preach about this at length.

And I’ll continue to preach! “Don’t ever try to treat your back pain without first understanding what’s causing your pain.”

Let me give you an example…


Say you’re pretty sure that the cause of the pain in your lower back and the pain running down the back of her buttocks and thigh are do to a disc-bulge.

You’ve seen your doctor, had an MRI, and even your physical therapist agrees.

So now it’s time to treat that bulging disc and put it back where it belongs.  Right?

Wrong! That’s right, wrong I say, because you stopped one step short: you never figured out what caused the disc to bulge in the first place.

If you figure that out, you now know the ROOT CAUSE of you pain. Very likely it’s a combination of poor movements and postures that have been putting extra stress on the disc.

If you treat the disc without correcting these poor movements and postures, what do you think will happen?  Bingo!  Your disc will bulge again at some point.


I’m sure all of this makes perfect sense (please nod your head and agree with me). “Yes, Luke, you must first understand the root cause of your pain before you attempt to treat it.”

Very good. Now let’s move on…

What if I told you that the root cause of your pain (whether it’s back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain, or any other kind of pain) was caused by ASYMMETRIES in your body?

And that by addressing these asymmetries and bringing your body back into balance, you could basically eliminate all sorts of pain.

Does that sound to good to be true?

I have to admit that for many years it sounded too good to me as well, which is why I resisted TMR (Total Motion Release) for so long.

After all, I constantly preach about finding the root cause of pain and then treating the cause of the pain with very specific interventions.

So I asked myself, “Can you really use the same exercises to treat all sorts of pain?”  And the answer I came up with was always “No, you can’t.”

And then over the last few years, I started gradually trying these TMR exercises, and guess what, they actually work!

And here’s the reason they work: for many of us, the asymmetries throughout our bodies are the root cause of our pain.

So in essence, if you have imbalances in your hips, knees and back, they may actually be causing your shoulder pain.

Sounds weired and far-fetched, but keep an open mind here.

So to demonstrate how these exercises might actually work for you, I’ve put together 2 TMR videos that will introduce the first 4 exercises for you.

As long as you feel comfortable with the exercises, feel free to try them at home.  Here they are:

– Total Motion Release Video #1

– Total Motion Release Video #2

And like I said, keep an open mind with these exercises, and you might just be surprised at how well they work!

After trying them, I’d love to hear your feedback, so shoot me an email at

To Your Health,


spokane valley gordon physical therapy

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626 North Mullan Road #4, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

(509) 892-5442

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