Understanding Movement Dysfunction in the range of movement

27 NOV

Understanding Movement Dysfunction in the range of movement

By Dean Phelps on Wednesday, 27th of November    Tag: Dysfuntion, High Performance Health, Movement, Pain,

Successful movement is challenged when there is excessive or limited motion at a particular joint or plane of motion

Too much range (hypermobile) or too little range (hypomobile)?? Why is it like this? How do we fix it?

Successful movement can be challenged when there is excessive (too much) or limited (too little) motion at a particular joint's plane of motion. For example, if there is limited dorsiflexion range at the right foot (for what ever reason), the body will have to choose a strategy/movement pattern to cope with that limitation in range. That may mean an early heel lift, a foot that spins out or many other possible changes to the gait cycle. This may or may not have a consequence, but in this example, the knee and hip will also have to choose what pattern they adopt for this functional limitatiomn at the ankle. If the heel is lifting early the knee will have to flex early limiting the hips ability to extend and normally load in the sagittal plane. Also, the foot may spin out to compinsate meaning the hip to will also externally rotate in the transverse plane and place the hip in a sub-optimal postition for load and power. A natural reflex that is initiated during hip extension is now lost reducing the efficency of the gait cycle due to a limitation at the ankle.

So I always ask is ‘why is the range limited?’ Is it a structural thing, or is it a motor skill issue? If it is a structural thing, is it something that can respond to treatment or is it something that is a congenital or an anatomoical issue and we need to work around the born/aquired limitation with specific strategies? If it is a skill issue, what are the strategies needed to teach this individual the movement skill they need?

There is more often then not a clear link between movement dysfunction and psychology. Both in teaching and learning a skill or movement pattern. Even if that skill is not sports performance, it is still the skill of movement and needs to be retrained from the brain to the muscle/joint in question! Always look at the whole picture in movement analysis, as there is always a number of factors at play!


Dean Phelps - Head Physiotherapy

Dean is a registered Gold Coast Physiotherapist with undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Human Movement and Exercise Science. His background has developed his vision for Fighting Fit Physiotherapy to focus on optimal health and peak physical performance for every single patient. Utilising his many qualifications, in depth knowledge of the body and passion for exercise he can provide a holistic approach to your treatment and exercise prescription to get the best outcome.


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