The Fly Method®
A new clinical assessment and treatment method for deficits of movement control in the cervical spine.
The Fly Method® provides reliable and valid measures for movement control of the cervical spine. It can be used both as an assessment and treatment method, ensuring gradual progression in the treatment for deficits of movement control in patients with cervical spine disorders.
Both the Test and the Exercise Programme use a 3D wireless orientation sensor, which is mounted on the patient’s head and connected to a computer via a standard Bluetooth interface. A “fly”, derived from the special software, draws unpredictable movement patterns of incremental difficulty on the computer screen. The patient is required to follow the “fly” by moving the head and neck as accurately as possible with the help of a cursor derived from the sensor.
The mismatch between the “fly” and the patient’s trajectories are not visible on the screen, but the results are downloaded into a report, which forms the basis of objective assessments and future treatment.
The Fly Test consists of three incrementally difficult movement patterns (easy – medium – difficult), each of which is repeated three times in random order.
Individual performances are documented by three different objective measures, representing different aspects of proprioception:
- Amplitude accuracy – measured in millimetres
- Directional accuracy – measured as a percentage of the total time used to perform a trial
- Smoothness of movements – measured using an index from 0-10
The Fly Exercise Programme fine tunes the deficient movement control of the cervical spine, starting at the impairment level indicated by the patient’s performances in the Fly Test. Those who perform badly for example, start at the easy level. Reassessment takes place after a number of treatment sessions to see if the patient can start a more demanding stage of the programme.
Clinicians who want their patients to use the Fly Exercise Programme outside of the clinical setting, can facilitate a subscription to the service which the patient can then access at home or work.
These test results illustrate the mismatch of trajectories at the easy, medium and difficult test levels of a relatively healthy person (good performances) and a person with neck pain (bad performances). Based on these measurements, the clinician can decide which treatment level the patient may start at within the Fly Exercise Programme. The clinician can then follow the progress of any patient with repeated assessment over the rehabilitation period. Patients can operate the exercise programme themselves in the clinical setting, or in a home or office setting when appropriate.