Updated: Sep 22, 2021
When we talk about movement we refer to motion in multiple joints in order to create a goal-oriented or reflex-based bodily, you guessed it, movement. When you consider a movement like lifting something off the ground, you have to deal with many things at the same time within the entire body. There's joints that need to be moved by your muscles in a well coordinated manner, there's muscles that need to be relaxed in order for other muscles to contract (shorten and create force) properly. Then there's something called balance and coordination which allows you to bend over without falling over, and then there's nerves sending the signals back and forth between the central nervous system, muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint capsules. All this happens just for you to bend down and pick something off the floor. A movement that you, once you're not in acute pain, would take for granted.
When suddenly or gradually a complex movement like the floor lift becomes harder and harder for you to perform, we talk about movement dysfunctions. Beyond asking you, we don't yet know where this dysfunction has come from nor why it is there. If the problem developed gradually over time, it wouldn’t probably seek much attention. It may remain dysfunctional without you even noticing. However, in many cases those dysfunctions wouldn’t stay silent. In fact, many become, especially if you need them still, create at least an unpleasant feeling or even pain. Pain within primal movements like bending over to pick something off of the floor or pain whilst one's taking off a shirt usually leads to action, especially when the pain persists for days and even weeks.
Now, regardless of the painful area or dysfunctional movement you complain about, we would need to screen your movements from head to toes as we need to see the bigger picture behind this very limitation. Maybe a specific can be blamed, maybe an entire leg or arm and maybe even your programming of this very dysfunctional movement – that's what we need to figure out first. If it seems awkward to you that we go through many movements despite a very specific problem, let's try this analogy to bring you our approach a little closer: you're late for your doctor's appointment (cardiology) as it is a routine check up. You sprint to the clinic, you hurry up the stairs and you walk right into the doctor's office. Upon asking you for any abnormalities heart-wise, you just mention some small irregularities every now and then. So, if the doctor would just conclude what he/she just witnessed – a person being out of breath with occasional heart rhythm abnormalities – without even investigating further, he/she would prescribe medication to you straight away. However, a few tests of the cardiovascular system needs at least to be done before drawing any conclusions. See, the blood pressure cuff and EMG is nothing else than a fairly holistic screening of the entire cardiovascular system as much as a, as we call it, Movewell® Body Check Up is a fairly holistic screening of your movement apparatus.
The reason we screen you first is to make sure that there's no underlying problems that may cause you harm later-on. Preventing further injuries is always the goal before correcting the current ones.
Don’t forget to Movewell. If you liked this article, please consider sharing and commenting.
Your personal physiotherapist – Martin Strietzel