For two decades, physical therapy clinic ProRehab, founded in Evansville in 1999 by Pat Wempe and Jody Kissel, has been at ground zero for an industry-leading algorithm now shaping athletes’ care across the globe.
The Move to Perform Algorithm is a combination of tools that predict future injury risk created in 2005 by retired physical therapist and professor emeritus at the University of Evansville Kyle Kiesel and Phil Pilsky, an associate professor at UE’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
A key piece of the algorithm, the Functional Movement Screen was developed by Gray Cook, Lee Burton, and Kiesel in the 1990s in Danville, Virginia. Kiesel brought his FMS knowledge to Evansville to work at UE in 2000, also joining ProRehab in 2001.
At the same time, Pilsky was developing the Y balance test and in 2004 while working at UE and ProRehab they joined forces to create the algorithm.
The duo conducted research with the United States military and athletes throughout the early 2000s and published several papers with their findings.
“It’s crucial to understand your fundamental movements and that they’re not painful because they’re the base for everything athletic,” says Kiesel. “So, if there is a weak link in your movement, it’s going to cause performance problems at some point.”
The algorithm quickly grew to an international tool with more than 60,000 therapists certified to perform FMS worldwide. Kiesel even operates a fellowship for health professionals to receive advanced education and training on FMS at functionalmovement.com.
Meanwhile, Wempe and Pilsky championed the algorithm locally. ProRehab began implementing it in the treatment and discharge processes for all types of patients, including athletes and people recovering from injuries.
Through its Sports Medicine program, certified trainers also conduct the preventive screening on all athletes at Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation high schools, North and South Knox High Schools, and Mater Dei, Castle, Boonville, and Forest Park High Schools through annual physicals.
“It’s been incredibly beneficial for — not just us — but physical therapy across the country to use that testing system,” says Wempe.