In the following series of blogs, I will be presenting my thoughts and approaches to understanding the “why’s” and the “what’s” behind the conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Bunions, Hallux Limitus/Arthritis, Neuroma’s and Metatarsalgia. However, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how the body works in order to make sense of the common ailment’s that affect so many, and in so many different ways. The first article, entitled, We Are Just a Bunch of Moving Parts!, sets the stage for movement. The second article will be about defining The Core, and we will progress from there.
The Human body is a wonder of wonders. So many different systems all working together to coordinate the symphony that is life. For the sake of brevity, I will focus on the system of moving parts that gets us from one place to another. We have a skeleton of bones that make up our basic structure. Joints make up the connections between the bones and can by hinge type (like our knee and elbow), ball and socket (like our hip and shoulder), pivot (like one of our neck vertebrae that helps us say “no”) and more complex joints that are combinations and allow motion in several different areas/planes (such as our ankle and big toe). There are several other types of joints as well that can either help stabilize structures or destabilize structures. Muscles start on one bone, attach to another bone via its tendon, and help move a particular joint through its intended design function. Tendons arise from muscles and help exert the will of the muscle at the designated joint. For instance, when you flex your bicep (keeping all else still), the biceps tendon crosses in front of the elbow joint and helps raise the forearm up. The muscle contracts (imagine someone “making a muscle”) and that shortening bends the arm.
The starting point of movement should be one in which posture is perfect. With perfect posture (few past 3 years of age can claim this), the skeleton is neatly stacked and stable (like a building directly over its foundation) and the only muscles that should be active at this time are the deep stabilizing and core muscles. Thus, when we want to move our bodies, the specific muscles that move us, are ready to spring into action. The problems all begin with posture breaking down. Once our posture is compromised, we need the major muscles that help us move to do a different job; that of maintaining our posture. Therefore, when the body needs to move, it has to overcome the work that is already being done by those very muscles that need to do a different job.