Where The Pain Is Often, The Problem Is Not!
by Tyler Shamaly
If you’re like many you have experienced the horrid sensation of joint pain (especially low-back, knees and neck). Now, given that many people feel these pains and it isn’t just you, there must be something that we, as a collective, can do to resolve these problems.
Based off of principles from the kinetic chain and all of the studying I have done on how the human body works in movement, I have noticed one specific principle that can drastically improve the quality of individual’s life while minimizing (or eliminating) the pains and aches they feel. With what is said in the title, “where the pain is often, the problem is not.”
With that being said, there are certain mobility and stability points on the human body which could ultimately affect the structure of your entire body and how it functions as a whole. Often times, the cause has everything to do with the mobility points of which have an adverse affect on the stability points of the body.
Points of Mobility include:
- Thoracic Spine
Points of Stability include:
- Lumbar Spine
- Cervical Spine
What is funny about this is that most people complain about the pains they experience in the above listed stability points more commonly than the mobility points. For instance, a few common issues that people come in with are knee pain, low-back pain and neck pain. Those three problems are all the most common pains we hear of and all just so happen to be associated with the knee, lumbar spine and cervical spine, all of which are a part of the stability points.
With that being said, let me explain to you how having a problem (or immobilization) in the mobility points can largely affect the stability points.
When discussing the kinetic chain in the simplest way possible, the body utilizes this chain of joints in order to minimize impact and therefore wear-and-tear to the body. Due to the original nature of our body, everything from our legs, to our torso and our arms are a spring system of which should be able to absorb the impact of walking, running, jumping, etc. However, due to a rapid evolution of technology, human beings are finding themselves more sedentary and therefore less mobile.
Imagine riding a brand new mountain bike with beautiful shocks; as you go over rocks and rough terrain, the mobile shocks will absorb impact of rough terrain so that you are not jolted and thrown off balance as you ride. However, after you left the bike sit for a while, things begin to change. Suddenly, the gears and chains are rusted which makes it harder to move, and suddenly your beautiful shocks have turned into stiff rods that do nothing but make your ride harder. It isn’t until you lubricate the joints of the shocks that they start to move freely again, taking that awful impact off of your shoulders. Do you see where I am going?
Your body was once the bike with beautiful shocks, but as you stopped moving around, your spring system soon begins to stiffen up. For example, if you cannot absorb shock in your ankle as you walk, run or jump, you will have to absorb the shock up-stream, in your knees. If you cannot absorb shock in your hips, you will have to absorb the shock elsewhere, or more commonly in your lower-back. Lastly, if you cannot move and absorb shock in your thoracic spine, you will have to absorb shock in either your lumbar (low-back) or cervical (neck).
That is why we focus so much on starting a client from the ground up at Ascension, because if someone cannot functionally load their body, there is no need to create dysfunctional strength that will eventually wreak havoc on the body. Through our Personal Training Program we commonly begin with Corrective Exercise so that we can ensure that the individual will be able to workout from longevity without feeling joint pain.
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