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Kinetic Chains

It is very tempting to start compartmentalizing our symptoms in the body. In fact, many of our common approaches to managing disease and illness is done in a compartmentalized fashion. This is typically how the average senior will end up taking up to 11 different medications – all prescribed for different ailments treating different areas of the body. Sometimes, one is being prescribed due to the side-effects of another.

This approach is already problematic when we consider the over-all interconnection of the body’s physiology. However, it is a system that works really well in a crisis. If you are in a traumatic accident and have suffered an injury to your hip, you will be rushed to the ER and see an orthopaedic specialist who primarily treats injuries like yours all the time. You can rest assured that your immediate needs related to your injury will be met and you will be discharged doing better than when you first walked in.

shoulder pain

Where this model fails is when the average person is presenting to a local clinic with pain or mobility problems related to a long standing mechanical issue. This could be poor posture, an old injury that you  ignored and never got addressed properly or perhaps it is a nagging ache that has been there all your life. The symptoms might be experienced in one part of the body whereas the problem might be in a completely different region.

A more holistic look at how people move, how they think and how their pain is perceived needs to be the topic of discussion as opposed to where the pain is what can be done to get rid of it right away. The reason why people have the same problems return over and over again is because the underlying structural and functional components were not addressed appropriately.

Our body has interlinked “chains” of movement that rely on one area to move well for the other to function the way it is supposed to. Looking through a limited view at only where the pain is leads people to be frustrated with on-going mechanical problems. These kinetic chains pass through different parts of the body. Some require more stability and strength whereas others need to be more flexible/mobile. Limitation in one can create a domino affect where problems can manifest many years down the road.

Have a look at your posture in front of the mirror today. Do you find that you drop one shoulder and an opposite hip? For example: a right shoulder + left hip or a left shoulder + right hip? Chances are you would benefit from getting a proper and thorough structural and functional assessment done.

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