So to recap in the previous post Part 2, I started to explore the importance of assessment and how a self screen can help guide us not only in correcting our movement, but also in identifying any dysfunctions that we may have. I treat a movement screen the same as I treat a health screen as lets say, a blood pressure screen. Classifying you as either a risk factor, or not. It gives me a look at what goes on inside your body. In this case, your musculo-skeletal and nervous system. In todays topic, im going to jump straight into our next movement rule.
Movement Rule 2
Rule of Nature
This is the one rule I can actually talk about so much I could write an entire chapter on it. The rule of Nature. For this discussion I am going to break up this principle into sections for better understanding. It is a very important principle that affects every single organism on the planet and we humans are no different to its powers. However, im going to keep it as short and simple as possible.
We cannot do it better than Nature.
We are taught everything about who we are today, through the sometimes cruel tutelage of nature. From the moment we are born, to the moment we learn our most sophisticated skills. We have been cradled by the hand of nature. From our DNA to our movement, up until our immune system and recovery from injury. We have a hand in nature. One thing I have learned, is that you cannot do things better than nature. I will not pretend that my small brain can give you the type of learning that your environment gave you as a baby. Most of us developed through the same natural process, but some of us didn’t. If any of us failed to be adequately stimulated by our environment, lets say learning to walk too soon through the purposeful help of mommy and daddy. We could be in for some coordination problems later in life. Low tone, foot pronation and poor balance are a few examples of inadequate stimulation through our early developmental years.
Let Nature show us
As I mentioned before, nature can be cruel sometimes. As you would have noticed as soon as you start a new exercise regime, that stiffness and muscle soreness you experience the next few days? Your body will remind you in the form of inflammation and pain, that you are infringing on the principles of intensity. Allowing your body to move naturally through a full range of motion using sufficient load, and maintaining adequate alignment with integrity under this load will ensure proper development of the entire nervous system. Get this wrong, and nature will punish us with injury, sometimes severely. Not that feeling a little stiffness after training (Delayed onset muscle soreness) is bad for us. We all need to injure ourselves on a micro level in order to adapt.
We need to learn to move well before we move often. Thats right, moving often before we move well can actually do us more harm in the form of compensation, micro trauma leading to chronic injury, degeneration and pain. In the fitness circles, a term is used to explain this phenomenon. This is the SAID principle. Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. If we think about it, we can divide this principle straight down the middle. The specific adaptation is what happens inside the body, while the imposed demand is our stimulus we get from outside of our bodies.
Our static Nature
When we look at how we spend most of our day sitting behind a desk. We must accept that nature will force us to adapt using the SAID principle. Our nervous systems does not know the difference between good movement queues and bad movement queues. It only knows what movement through repetition or lack of movements is used most often. And hence, adapts to that movement pattern. When you sit with your legs and knees bent for most of your days. Your body will adapt to that posture because this is how you spend most of your day. The result is weak trunk and core musculature, weak gluteus, shortened hamstrings and hip flexors, shortened calves and weak lower and upper backs. Losing all reflexive motor control and stability. But also losing our ability to move through our fundamental movement patterns such as bending, lifting, squatting, pushing and pulling. The end result…We have lost the ability to move.
Internal or external environment.
So how do we decide what to do and where to go to address this issue. We either look at the organism internally or we find the problem externally. Most of my patients will present with some form of pain. Following a proper diagnostic, and clearing any systemic illness. My job is to determine and diagnose the condition. Whether its in the form of inflammation or dysfunction, inflammation is a cycle, and no matter how hard you try this cycle is approximately 7 to 21 days. This is the natural process and once again nature lets us know, she is in charge. Having chronic joint pain means were stuck in this cycle because were not addressing the cause. And the cause, is dysfunctional movement.
A case study
Looking at a simple case study of a patient who is a weekend runner. However suffers from severe back pain and left knee pain after 6 km, and upon assessment found that she cannot extend her hip into normal ranges. What we found is someone who sits all day, and runs 10 km every other day. Running with a hip that cannot extend, leads to dysfunction of the entire kinetic chain. A hip that cannot extend, leads to poor rotational mechanics through the hips and trunk. Leading to overcompensation somewhere else in the chain. Including hip, back and knee symptoms.
It is my job as a movement therapist to not only diagnose the problem that I see, but also identify the problems that I don’t see. In this case, the environment. All the corrective exercises in the world would not be as effective if we ignore the Nature of the problem. Identifying the environment we “live” in.
As you can see, im only getting into rule number 2 and already there is so much knowledge in these two rules that can make a huge difference in your ability.
Stick around, and in a few more days I will show you the importance of another movement rule.
If you enjoyed this post or have any questions about me or this post, please leave a comment below.
Yours in movement