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Regional interdependence and the necessity of assessment

by Carson Boddicker on Feb 24th, 2010

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In continuation of yesterday’s post about some of the things that I have picked up over the weekend at Optimum Sports Performance is the idea that the best just don’t miss things. While traditional orthopedics would tell us that when a joint is hurting, we need to look directly at that joint, we know that the body is far more complicated than that. Yes, it hurts, but WHY?

Just because the plantar fascia is not behaving, simple treatment of the foot and even lower leg will not always suffice. How is the tone of their hip flexors? How about the tone of their cervical musculature? If the athlete is in full body anterior tilt, there is no question that any alteration made to the plantar surface will be short lived and the root of the problem left unresolved will lead to yet another bout of the exact same dysfunction. It is basic regional interdependence.

Just because the shoulder hurts does not mean that the root of the problem is at the shoulder itself. How is the cervical musculature? How is the opposite foot and ankle moving? Are the glutes functioning well? Grip strength? Where and how are they breathing? Thoracic spine? Posture? The list could go on and on; it’s regional interdependence that matters. There are numerous fascial syncitia evident throughout the body and many that directly impact the shoulder’s function. By looking only at shoulder range of motion, we have screwed up.

The examples of regional interdependence and tensegrity are ubiquitous, but you understand the point. The only way to ensure that our clients and athletes receive the best service possible is to assess beyond the area of injury. A common therad this weekend was that the best in the world–the Cooks, Jandas, Lewits, Kolars, etc–just do not miss things that everyone else does.

The best place to start is a quick and intelligent screening of the entire body–upper and lower quarter screens–before progressing into a more complex series of movements to see how all the joints play together. Only then can you begin to correlate the table assessment with the moving assessment and identify regional components and develop an effective, safe, and intelligently progressed training plan.

Remember, the best don’t miss things.

Best regards,
Carson Boddicker

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Leave a Comment »1 Comment
  • Dale C. November 19, 2011

    Hi Carson,
    You make some great points in here that more people need to hear. We’ve become people who treat symptoms instead of causes over time, which only leads to more problems. It always amazes me how many people I hear say they’ve cured a plaguing injury by doing work on a connected but different body part. Sometimes we definately get too focused on the pain and miss the big picture.

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