I’m sure you already know most of your strengths and weaknesses. You already know which arm you prefer to throw with, what foot you’d rather stand on, and you have your favorite standing and sitting positions. There’s one leg you like to cross over more than the other, one side you like to sleep on. Does this matter in terms of injury prevention or recovery?
Yes. Our body is consisted of millions of neuromuscular patterns. Our brain started developing them since we were in the womb. This is why no golf swing is the same, pitching mechanics look different on everyone, and injuries vary from person to person. Think about these minute movement patterns: When you brush your teeth, do you start with the same quadrant every time? When you put your pants on, do you always use the same leg? When you take a shower, what do you always do first? These are movement patterns. Muscle memory that your body has done so much, you don’t even think about it anymore.
Movement patterns develop according to our anatomy. Our non-symmetrical organs such as our liver, spleen, heart, and diaphragm drive our movement patterns. However, when we start to develop movement patterns that cater too far with our organs, it’s can be difficult for our body to overcome it. These patterns will start to fester into every day activities, not just sports or hobbies, and it can be difficult for our body to establish a correction. Instead, the body will create a compensation, which can be just as bad, if not worse for our joints. This is when a pattern develops over a pattern, which usually leads to joint breakdown, “wear and tear” as most say.
By looking at the body from a neurological approach, not orthopedic as you typically see with joint issues, I can see how the joint moves and works with other joints. After all, our joints have to work together to create movement, right? So why would I just look at 1-2 joints when assessing you when the entire movement pattern incorporates the neck, shoulder, spine, pelvis, hips, knees, and feet? Wouldn’t you think a neck or shoulder restriction would affect our ability to walk since we naturally swing our arms and rotate through our spine? When you reach up into a cabinet, do you not have to rotate your hips to extend your arm appropriately? Yes!
A restriction in a joint will affect the rest of the body. If not addressed, overuse of other areas will create break down, tendinitis, ligament laxity, and arthritis. It is crucial that a postural assessment is done to address the underlying movement pattern and restore joint mobility at all areas. This will ensure that your joints stay healthy, and your movement unrestricted.
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