Recall from the last post that at Elite Spine & Sport, we are interested in overall global movement patterns, not just range of motion. Now we will go into a little bit more detail about why we are interested in performing movement screens. First, I would like to start by pointing out that a large majority of chronic pain is due to “overuse syndromes”. However, overuse syndromes are NOT actually caused by overuse alone. To take it a step further, your muscles do not tighten up due to overuse.
Overuse syndromes certainly involve overuse (it’s in the name), but it is this excessive use paired WITH faulty movement patterns that create a problem. Allow me to explain this a little further. You see, your joints have a position where they are most congruent, and are able to move the best with as little friction and restriction as possible. We call a joint CENTRATED when it is in this position. By definition, a centrated joint is one that maintains proper neuromuscular tone surrounding the joint through its entire range of motion. A properly centrated and stabilized joint can move freely all day long without developing signs and symptoms of wear and tear. But, once a joint loses its proper stabilization (picture your low back), the muscle balance around that joint becomes distorted and then exacerbated through overuse (eventually leading to chronic low back pain).
Movement screening is used to identify any dysfunctional patterns causing joints to lose proper centration, and thus developing muscle imbalances and, eventually, pain. Once we address these dysfunctional areas, your movement patterns clean up and the cause of your symptoms is likely to disappear!