The Kinetic Chain and Physical Fitness

Why do we deal with more aches, pains & injuries as we get older? Research & personal experience have me convinced that this boils down to one major thing…our previously perfectly aligned bodies simply get more out of line as we age. In other words, our “kinetic chain” becomes compromised. This happens in part due to our monotonous immobilizing daily routines, (such as sitting at a desk all day, or driving in our car for hours.) It also can occur due to a previous injury that we may have completely forgotten about!

I was inspired to talk about the importance of the kinetic chain & postural health due to my own suffering this week. You might think… “Sarah’s quite fit and young…she probably never has problems with her back or has joint pain, etc.” But guess what, I sometimes do! On Monday afternoon I threw my back out for the second time since having our now 10 month old son. I was carrying some bottled water, (no heavier than I could normally handle,) when it seized up on me. Not a fun feeling! This was the second time in 6 months that it has happened. So this time, I decided to see some experts…

Dr. Andrea Dorris at Active Health & Performance Center was amazing! What she determined was spot-on, and her treatment not only provided me with immediate relief, but a speedy recovery as well! She instantly noticed that I was slightly favoring one side of my body when I walked, (due to an ankle injury that I had surgery for over 2 years ago.) She also explained that due to having my son, I may still have some scar tissue in my hip joints from when they had expanded to accommodate carrying him. These two situations were causing a lack of mobility in my right hip, which in turn provoked the back strain located around the L5 – S1 joint. Dr. Dorris worked on my right hip and managed to improve the degree of mobility right away. She then worked on opening up the space in my L5 joint that had closed. Finally she applied some light massage and an ultrasound treatment to speed up my recovery process. Dr. Dorris advised me exactly what movements to avoid until I’m 100% pain free, and also what exercises to do in order to strengthen the parts of my body that will help to avoid future back strains.

It is so important that we take precautions to avoid compromising our kinetic chain. Exercising the body is the best remedy. And if we have injuries, we must be sure to see an expert and take extra care in our rehab exercises. I stopped doing my ankle exercises because I was relatively pain free, but boy did it back fire! (pun intended..lol) The phrase “you are only as strong as your weakest link” is so true, so do everything you can to strengthen those links!

For more information about “The Kinetic Chain” see the Article pasted below from Back to Form Fitness: http://backtoformfitness.com/the-kinetic-chain-why-your-back-hips-knees-lower-legs-ankles-and-feet-hurt/

If you have been experiencing any aches, pains, or injuries, I whole heartedly recommend scheduling a visit with Dr. Andrea Dorris or Dr. Jeremy Dorris at Active Health & Performance Center in Mission Valley. Not only are they experts at what they do, they are friends of SGO Fitness and they offer significant discounts of up to 50% off for our clients. They also accept several insurance plans. You can reach them at Phone 619-755-7908 or at E-mail: health@sportschiropracticsandiego.com For more details, visit the Active Health & Performance Center website at www.theahapc.com

Dedicated to your success,
Sarah Gogarty, (ACE-CPT)
Founder & Trainer
SGO Fitness

The Kinetic Chain – Why your back, hips, knees, lower legs, ankles and feet hurt
Posted on 28. Jan, 2008 by Keith Scott in Back to Health, Fitness

You are only as strong as your weakest link. Our body is connected in more ways than most know. When there is a long standing orthopedic problem somewhere in your body, chances are the problem is connected in some way to another area of your body. If your ankles or knees hurt just from walking, I would guess that you may have some issues with your feet. Even if your feet are hurting, there may be an issue with your calves. Tight calves can lead to problems in your knees, hips and lower back. This in turn can cause problems in your upper back, shoulders, neck and even head. You see, everything is connected, a kinetic chain. When a part of this chain is weak or damaged, it will affect other parts of the chain. Those parts affect other parts and so on. I get asked questions constantly about people’s orthopedic problems, and more-so, how to solve them. People ask about sore, creaky knees, shin splints, achy shoulders, hurting ankles, bad feet, etc… While some of these problems are “acute”, meaning that they just occurred, usually from an outside force or trauma, most are linked and directly related to other issues in the body.

Common reasons for these issues are:
• Compensation due to another injury. An example would be putting more weight on one leg to take pressure off of the “bad”, or injured leg.

• Muscular imbalances around a joint. This occurs frequently in the shoulder. In many people the internal rotators are overdeveloped or over activated, while the external rotators are left weak or under activated.

• Scar tissue build up or adhesions from previous injury. Most active people have some scar tissue somewhere in the body. Some of us have more than others. This scar tissue can cause an obvious limit in range of motion, thus causing improper joint mechanics.

• Improper Movement patterns. If you swing a golf club the wrong way enough, not only will your golf game suffer, but you will quickly develop bad motor patters or mechanics. This in time will lead to imbalances of strength, and flexibility, pain, injury, and over compensation patterns. This can occur in anything that you do, whether it is as simple as running, or more complex like throwing a baseball. Bad patters cause bad things to happen over time.

• Genetics. We can’t choose our parents so we are pretty much stuck with the genetics that we are born with. People are born with various body types and many structural and functional “issues”.

It is important when dealing with your own “issues” that you look at yourself more closely and try to find out where your problems lie. For example, I was chatting with a gentleman recently about his chronic knee problems. This man had no idea why his knees hurt and gave him problems so much. While it was convenient to blame his problems on “old age”, it because apparent from a quick conversation that most of his problems were the result of past trauma to other parts of his body. Once we identified the issues in these areas that were causing the knee problems, I gave him some basic and effective strategies to help correct the issues. Once corrected, chances are that his knee problems will seem to go away.

I strongly believe that there are numerous “fixes” to most problems in the human body and most of these fixes can be done through simple exercises to correct the imbalances. I notice most people doing the opposite however by trying the band aid approach to the problems as they arise. A handful of Advil, a week off from your activity and some ice might make things feel better temporality, but until the real problem is solved, these issues will continue to haunt you.

Do yourself a big favor, the next time something is hurting, or you finally realize that you have chronic pain that has been with your for more than a month, find out why. Just by pinpointing the other issues in your body, you will better be able to figure out what is causing the current issues and hopefully get them fixed. Seek out a qualified person to help you out. Visit your local Physical Therapist, Athletic Trainer, Orthopedic doctor, or educated personal trainer or coach. These people should be able to give you the right information to get you back to where you belong, in good physical health.

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