“The body works in alternating patterns of stable segments, connected by mobile joints. If this pattern is altered- dysfunction and compensation will occur.” -Grey Cook
All of us have experienced pain or discomfort at some point of our lives, so what have we done to treat it?
Maybe you’ve visited the doc just for him/her to say: “Take this pain medication”. Or maybe a practitioner has told you, “ Why don’t you ice it, stretch it, massage it?” How did any of those methods serve you? Probably didn’t work well, right?
My first few years as a strength and conditioning coach I assumed that my clients who had back pain due to having tight back muscles, that the muscles needed stretching, or that the core was weak. But now, after furthering my education in assessment protocols such as Functional Movement Screening, TPI, and others, I have learned that treating the symptoms does not fix the source of pain.
Finding the source of the problem takes a full body approach.
For example, when building a house, you don’t just start with picking out the hardwood floors. You have to build the foundation and make sure that it is strong enough to support the beautiful red oak flooring. This concept is the same when looking at the body, you want to make sure the foundation is strong before picking out the hardwood floors.
TPI and SFMA came up with a basic philosophy that takes out the guess work and addresses the cause, which is called a joint-by-joint analysis. A joint by joint analysis involves looking at the whole body and addressing patterns of alternating mobility and stability. Certain segments of our body are meant to be stable and others are meant to be mobile, if the body is lacking in either of these then compensation will occur. For example, if one is experiencing lower back pain, it is often due to a lack of mobility in the hips, thus the lumbar spine becomes less stable in order to accommodate movements that require hip mobility.
When I am at the driving range, my lack of hip mobility and thoracic mobility causes lower back discomfort. This is primarily due to altering my swing motion in order create the pattern of least resistance. In other words, abnormal motions over a period of time will result in injury; therefore, it is important to get a full body analysis to address the primary imbalances.
At Perform for Life, we take the guesswork out of the process. Each new client is required to have a full body screening in order to highlight the musculoskeletal imbalances, possible altered motor controls, and areas of primary concern. One of our specialties is pre-habilitation, or injury prevention, so that rehabilitation never has to occur.