Postural deviations and pain in runners
This week's guest blog post is from Kelly Coder of Postural Foundations. Kelly is a postural and functional exercise specialist who works in restoring balance to the body.
Few factors are more important in human movement and performance than center of gravity.
If the human body cannot find a balanced, controlled center, it is almost guaranteed that injury, pain, and decreased performance are not far behind.
Think of a time you had to carry a stack of objects. Books, plates, boxes, etc.
I assume your goal was to carry this stack of objects to a specific destination without allowing them to fall to the floor.
Now, if one or multiple objects were to slide left or right during your trip did that make it more difficult to control the stack as a whole?
The last time this happened to me with a stack of dirty dishes, I ended up with a less than clean shirt, and a previously spotless floor to clean up.
When one or more of the objects shifts out of alignment the center of gravity of the entire “structure” completely changes. Adjustments must take place in order to maintain balance and to keep the stack from crashing to the floor.
The same can be said for the human body.
Balance and symmetry is my number one goal when assessing a person’s posture.
Red flags jump out whenever I see a one sided deviation; one shoulder higher than the other, a foot that is more toed out, a torso shift, a head tilt, or a collapsed ankle, just to name a few.
These are all signs that something is bubbling under the surface, the body is compensating and a body’s center of gravity has shifted.
There is no bigger factor that contributes to our center of gravity and mid-section stability then the position of our pelvis.
Think about it. When there is a deviation in our pelvis (whether it be an elevation, rotation, asymmetry, or an excessive anterior or posterior tilt), the rest of the body has to compensate in some way.
As human beings, we demand a lot from our “core” or our center.
So many movements that we need to accomplish on a daily basis, from putting on our shoes to getting in and out of our cars, requires engagement and control at our mid-section. However, one of the most overlooked aspects of our structure, that has a massive effect on stability and function, is pelvic alignment.
The body will always take the path of least resistance.
If there is a spot or location in the body that experiences a block or restriction, compensations will take place in order to achieve a movement.
Unfortunately, this is where breakdowns can begin to take place.
If the body is avoiding the path it was originally designed to take due to restriction or pain, then muscles, tendons and joints have to pick up the slack and start to become compromised.
The length and tension of muscles from side to side and front to back lose their correct balance and joint position can be thrown off completely.
With deviations in the pelvis causing compensations up and down the body, we know for a fact that there will be muscular imbalances throughout the structure.
Muscle Imbalance leads to Joint Dysfunction.
Here is a really common series of compensations that I see regularly.
An elevation on one side of the pelvis causing compression. This leads to restriction in the low back, causing the torso shifts away from the compression.
As the torso shifts, this causes the scapula to elevate on the same side of
the pelvic elevation.
The head and neck also begin to develop deviations. This leaves the client with shoulder restriction or neck tightness issues possibly leading to injury down the line.
As a runner, a pelvic elevation causes glute medius/minimus activation imbalance, possible knee pain and/or compensation at the ankle and foot.
Multiplying these imbalances and deviations for every stride taken you could see how function would be impaired, joints could be comprised and injury would be much more likely to take place.
Addressing these issues is a must. When people’s center of gravity is thrown off, compensations will take place.
Customized Corrective Exercise Programs.
From my experience, using a combination of soft tissue or body work, chiropractic adjustments, and customized therapeutic corrective exercises, provides the most effect resolution for such issues.
By addressing these deviations, performance and function can improve, pain is managed and in some cases completely eliminated, and risk of injury is drastically decreased.
If you think that working with me could help you run pain free, I'd love to help. Give me a call at (603) 490-1399 or email me at email@example.com to set up a consultation appointment today.