The pelvis is the foundation and anchor of human movement. The pelvis is supposed to be our stable structure. The thoracic spine is designed to rotate, flex and extend in multiple planes. Somewhere along the way, strength and conditioning methods focused on excessive mobility in the pelvis. Hip impingements, groin problems and many other ailments were ‘discovered.’ Whether it be coaches, trainers, or therapists, they have all searched every area regarding rehabilitation and the medical system have invented procedures to either hide or reduce pain (e.g. steroid injections, stem cell treatments, etc). Let me explain to you on a simple level why we will never get to the root cause of the problems and pain presented if we continue with this above approach.
The evolution of time has resulted in the amazing development of methods and means to replace hips or shave down bones, etc. I always ask people to try imagining themselves back 1000 years ago in their mind. Do you think we had MRI’s and the ability to do what we can do today? The answer is simply no. However, we did not NEED to do these things. Human movement and our day to day lives have changed dramatically from the past hunter/gatherer days. The days of using light as a guide for many things, when our circadian rhythm was synced with the Earth’s rotation process indicating day light for hunting and darkness for sleeping, has drastically changed over the decades.
I like to go to these extreme examples to really try to come away from the norm of Western medicine and the today’s approach when it comes to managing and diagnosing pain. We as humans were born to walk, run, throw, etc. We were born with a built-in system of protection called ‘gut instinct’ (e.g. today’s ‘anxiety’). For example, when coming face-to-face with a predator, we knew we had to be careful or simply to channel adrenaline and run to safety. We did not shy away from the fear or external energy/force.
Today, this is a major mental health issue, and we try to protect our kids from this exact anxiety and fear. This results in little to zero resilience. So, how can this have anything to do with an injury? Some of our school systems have removed simple activities such as hopscotch, skipping, and chasing in the yard in fear of causing a fall or injury. This is leaving our kids with less chance of developing a stable movement structure going forward in life or simply contributing to a life of injuries and pain. Hopping and skipping is the most basic way of training to restore tensegrity in the human structure. Tensegrity combined with the law of physics, has been proven to show how the human body remains as an upright structure. Nowadays, some kids are playing multiple sports and staying active, however, it is the hours outside of these activities that I believe is doing the damage. It is the sitting for long periods of time playing computer games or watching TV and then expecting to have the functional strength to perform with no pain.
When we piece the emotional and physical sides together, it results in a lack of movement. The intrinsic muscle system is the first phase of movement and if we don’t own our breath, we will never own our movement. A human body cannot experience any form of fear, worry, anxiety, stress, etc. without the 10th cranial nerve (vagus nerve) activating. The vagus nerve runs from the brain, through the face and thorax and finishing in the colon. This is what is known as the fight or flight system and why this response can affect many systems in the body. In my experience, and witnessing various clients who attend the clinic, the only way I can describe some people is that they are simply trapped inside their own body and movement is next to impossible without experiencing pain. When we are forced to stand for long periods of time, we can develop back pain, feet pain, neck and shoulder pain. How is it that we cannot complete the absolute basics of human life? We can no longer absorb forces through the floor, and we cannot withstand gravitational forces (Dr. Schierling, 2017).
Gravity is acting on us all day. We slouch or need to sit down in order to ease this pain. The science of the position of ease was developed by Doctor Lawrence. H. Jones and describes how the body can adapt a posture or position to ease pain. This is what we do. Fallen arches? Our feet are in contact with the floor all the time, but we have masked this with runners. Our kids now have extremely poor feet and are in pain from a very young age as a result. Playing sports can leave them aching. The question is how can this pain seem OK when we are designed to be active? I stand by what I say in all my content which is that the system has failed to identify the root cause. The number one thing I try to teach my clients is to simply undo all the bad habits first before they start to get too focused on a given exercise. Stop thinking sets and reps but think time instead.
It is time we woke up and started changing.