Day in and day out, we – and our patients – feel rushed and stressed. Is it any wonder we’ve all distanced ourselves from the body’s signals of discomfort in an effort to get things done? Such messages and signals may manifest as a particular ache or in overall stiffness in the body.
As people sit, stand and walk throughout their day, shouldn’t we provide them with greater consciousness of their poor habits?
Faulty Repeated Movements
One of the first important concepts I try to educate patients on is that repeated movements (especially faulty movements) and prolonged postures result in changes in tissues and movement patterns. This results in a segment developing a susceptibility to move in a specific direction, and this may cause pain because of microtrauma from the stress on the tissues.
For example, consider failure of the stability muscle to hold the lower-limb segments in good posture during the stance phase of running or walking. If the gluteus medius, vastus medialis and tibialis posterior are not functioning optimally, there will be an increase in internal rotation of the femur and valgus positioning of the tibiofemoral joint from heel contact to mid-stance phase. The patella will track laterally, leading to an increase in activity of the tensor fascia latae and vastus lateralis, and the foot will excessively pronate. Such faulty mechanics can be the precursor for Achilles tendinopathy, medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) or iliotibial band syndrome.