Last week we delved into the 3 Planes of Motion and we introduced you to the ‘Kinetic Chain’ and threw around terms like ‘joint mobility’ and ‘joint stability’.
Let’s look at what these terms mean before we move forward, and this will be in relation to joint and movement patterns in the human body.
“Joint Mobility is defined as the degree to which an articulation (where two bones meet) can move before being restricted by surrounding tissues (ligaments/tendons/muscles etc.). Otherwise known as the range of uninhibited movement around a joint”.
-A.C.E (American Council of Exercise)
“Joint Stability is defined as the ability to maintain or control joint movement or position. Stability is achieved by the coordinating actions of surrounding tissues and the neuromuscular system.”
– A.C.E (American Council of Exercise)
Muscles and joints work together to create movement. If there is weakness, instability or an impairment of movement with a joint then the joints above and below will become affected. The structural integrity of the human movement system is now compromised. Other muscles will have to take up the work of the ones that are weak or underused causing a cycle of altered muscle recruitments, static and dynamic malalignments of the movement system.
5 check points
The National Academy of Sports Medicine developed an assessment that can be done to evaluate specific joints that if compromised can show muscle imbalance in a static posture.
The kinetic chain can be simplified using 5 check points when looking at the body from a front(anterior) view and a back(posterior) view. These points are the:
A corrective exercise specialist will be able to evaluate these points and create a exercise plan that can help in reversing these weaknesses surrounding the joints.
The thing is a lot of us are not aware of this until we are guided by it though pain from repetitive movements over time, though injury, though lack of proper physical therapy after surgery and so on. We tend to be reactive to our pain from these instances and not proactive. We wait for the signs that our body gives and then try to fix the problem. If we focus more on strengthening and stabilizing our joints, it creates greater mobility and greater efficiency for our movement. It decreases the increasing risk for injury to certain joints that may be under more stress based on the day’s activities. Joints such as the ankle and knee.
I hope that this blog can give you a better understanding of why healthy joints matter, and why it is important to be assessed and start a corrective exercise program. Take time to be informed and become aware of what you can do to be able to move and function better. Take initiative for your future.
Life Cycle 360.