There is a lot that goes on in a Physiotherapist’s head when they are watching the way you move.
It is important to move well in order to steer clear of pain. We tend to move in patterns that develop over time without much conscious input. Our bodies work to achieve tasks and we don’t always do it in the best biomechanical way. Your body will achieve a task if at all possible!
A faulty movement pattern over time can create eventual strain or pain. Injury, strain or loading on muscles and tendons creates shortening and disorganization within the myofascial tissue, muscle trigger points occuring as a consequence. This can lead to an imbalance, muscle weakness and loss of motor control around the related joints. Good joint biomechanical correction is essential to provide the sensory programming and positioning for ligaments and associated muscle synergies or “teams”.
We will talk about the shoulder to give you an example.
Every time we use our arms, there is an interaction between the functional movement of the arms and the stability of the shoulder girdle. The shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle) are referred to as the shoulder girdle.
Using your arms in all positions requires the stability of the shoulder girdle to provide a stable and well positioned ‘anchor’. This is even more important when lifting, using tools and using the arms in awkward and outstretched positions. Team work between the muscles in the area helps to achieve this. Here are some examples in relation to your shoulder girdle:
- A swimmer whose scapula does not tilt backward fully is at risk of a pinching or impingement injury to the shoulder joint when they are at full arm stretch.
- If a person works out doing lateral raises at the gym but without anchoring the scapula with the correct muscle groups, the scapula is forced into downward rotation instead of upward rotation, again risking an impingement injury.
- This is true for any person doing overhead work, e.g. hanging out washing, cleaning, painting, gardening etc.
Even an office worker sitting for lengths of time in an incorrect posture changes the muscle pull around the shoulder complex and increases the risk of neck, shoulder and arm pain.
There are of course many biomechanical factors that may contribute to movement control issues.
If you already have pain it is important to not only treat the tissue involved, but re-educate any movement pattern that has contributed to the problem. Each individual requires assessment to identify the factors contributing to their specific situation.
The team at Gardens Physiotherapy has the skills necessary to help you resolve your pain and optimize function. Ongoing maintenance and/or exercise strategies are often required to support your return to full function.