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Mike Voight: ‘Why Every Athletic Trainer Should Scrape, Tape and Move!’

October 10, 2016

Oct 10, 2016 5:06:39 PMAs a high school student in Portland, Ore., Mike Voight developed an interest in sports medicine. Like many athletic trainers of his generation, he learned fundaments of the profession from detailed articles written for athletic training students that appeared for many years in The First Aider newsletter.

Following graduation from Portland State University with a degree in sports medicine, Mike earned a master’s in education with an emphasis in sports medicine from the University of Virginia. He then attended physical therapy school at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia and says, “At the time, there were a lot of walls between athletic trainers and physical therapists, and I caught a lot of heck from people while I was there.” He persevered, though, and after graduation and a few years in practice, Mike became one of the country’s first board certified clinical specialists in sports physical therapy in 1987. His trailblazing continued in 1995, when he received one of the nation’s first doctoral degrees in physical therapy from the University of St. Augustine.

Mike’s first job was with the Philadelphia Eagles, and he went on to work for the Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat. He is currently a full-time professor in the School of Physical Therapy at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Over the years he has consulted with numerous teams in the NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, as well as FIFA and the PGA. Mike has been active with the U.S. Olympic Committee’s sports medicine division since the early years of his career, and has traveled extensively in that regard.

“My career was shaped largely by the good, solid mentors I had early on including athletic training greats Joe Gieck, Tab Blackburn, and Otho Davis,” Mike says. “A lot of people gave me help along the way and I’ve never forgotten them. Now I try to mentor others, help them up the ladder of success, and create opportunities for them. I really believe in the importance of paying it back. I never would have achieved what I have without other people helping me and I give them credit every day.”


Mike is a co-founder, with partner Tab Blackburn, of Advances in Clinical Education/North American Sports Medicine Institute—a 26-year-old company that conducts research and provides specialized courses and continuing education for athletic trainers, physical therapists, and other sports medicine clinicians. He is excited about the company’s newest educational program, Scrape, Tape and Move (STM). It’s an 8-½ hour course introducing an integrated approach to restoring and maximizing the human movement system. The program offers 8.5 continuing education units, and is a BOC-EB accredited course.

Oct 10, 2016 5:07:54 PM

The STM system begins with a movement assessment, using elements of the Selective Functional Movement Assessment developed by Mike and his colleagues Gray Cook and Greg Rose. “The assessment allows athletic trainers to zero in on a problem area because it leads you to the exact impairment. This eliminates a shotgun approach to treatment, and instead of multiple treatment techniques, only one or two techniques are needed,” he says. “It’s critically important to test the mobility/stability of all joints above and below an injury or problem area--think globally, not locally! For example, the root cause of a knee injury could be an ankle with impaired mobility—so if the treatment focuses only on the knee and its surrounding muscles, and ignores the ankle, the problem will persist.”

The results of the movement system assessment determine how and where an athletic trainer or other medical professional will scrape, tape, and move (prescribe specific exercises). “When someone lacks range of motion or mobility,” Mike says, “the first step is to reset or restore that mobility, so along with other mobility techniques we may scrape the patient in the compromised area using instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization tools. With mobility restored, the next step is to reinforce the mobility, biomechanics, and correct posture using kinesiology tape (the STM program uses TheraBand™ Kinesiology Tape with XactStretch™ technology), or we may also use reinforcing stretching exercises.”

Once mobility is restored and reinforced, the third step of the STM process can begin, Mike says, which is addressing movement dysfunction, teaching the patient to move correctly, and developing new muscle memory. The process incorporates the 4X4 Exercise Progression Model (also the brainchild of Mike and his cohorts) that features four positions and four levels of resistance/assistance. By regressing patients back to the point where unaided movement is effortless, it’s quite easy to select exercises that will allow patients to progress safely and incrementally. The STM program recommends the TheraBand™ CLX™-Consecutive Loops resistance band and uses it during the training program.




1. Non-weight-bearing, supine or prone

1. No load or resistance, with assistance or feedback

2. Quadruped, hands/knees

2. No load or resistance, except gravity or body weight

3. Stacked posture-Kneeling (half or tall) or seated in a chair

3. Resistance, with assistance or feedback

4. Standing

4. Resistance

“STM is a layering technique that athletic trainers will find interesting and beneficial,” Mike says, “and it begins by looking at gross movement. The human body always finds a way to move when faced with compromise, and like water going down a hill it follows the path of least resistance. So if the hip loses some of its mobility for some reason, the body will find a way to continue moving by relying on adjacent areas of the body. Our core or lumbar/pelvic region is designed to be stable…but if our hips aren’t moving, the lumbar spine will be forced to pick up some of that mobility, and it will no longer be stable.”

Mike has many patients who are golfers, and says their number one complaint is low back pain. “I’ve had many golfers tell me that they’ve worked on a core-training program for a few years and it hasn’t helped their low back pain at all. So I’ll do the Selective Functional Movement Assessment and find that their hips aren’t moving as they once were. Nine out of times out of 10 times they’ll say, ‘No, you’re not looking at the right spot! My hips don’t hurt.’ And I tell them, ‘Of course your hips don’t hurt—they’re not working!’ Then they’ll ask me if the hip problem might also be responsible for the pain in their left knee as well. Typically when we take care of the mobility problem, the stability problem takes care of itself.”

Click here for more information about Scrape, Tape and Move, including the dates and locations of upcoming training opportunities.