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Knee or Lower Back Pain? Don’t Blame Your Knee or Lower Back

Functional Movement Screen

Functional Movement Screen Hurdle Step

Just as in any other crime, it is the victim that cries, not the perpetrator. Recent insights into human movement, spearheaded by Gray Cook and Mike Boyle have led to the development of the Joint-by-Joint approach which classifies the body into an alternating series of mobile and stable joints. For example, the ankle should be mobile, the knee stable, the hip mobile, lower back stable and so on. When a mobile joint becomes stable, whether due to an injury (sprained ankle, etc.) or repetitive movement issues (carrying a heavy bag on the same side every day, etc.), the lost movement must be made up by the body somewhere… usually where it is not supposed to. Enter the knee, lower back, etc.

These “stable” joints end up moving more than they should to make sure your body does what it is supposed to…for a while. Eventually the shock absorbers of these joints (cartilage, intervetebral discs, etc.) wear out and then you get the inevitable joint pain. This does not happen over night; it occurs after years of repeated poor movement and poor posture.

Traditional fitness assessments include things like treadmill/cardio tests, flexibility (i.e. sit and reach), muscular endurance (i.e. pushups), etc.  However, movement-based screens and assessments, like the Functional Movement Screen [a short (15-20 minutes), 7-step screen], are designed to identify if you have any major movement patterning issues (do you use your lower back instead of your hips?) or asymmetries (does your right side work harder than your left?). This valuable information paired with traditional fitness assessments, allows you, or your trainer to customize exercise programs that will let you move better, move stronger and gain the fitness results you want….while minimizing injury risk. There’s no point in blasting yourself in intense workouts for 3 months if you always end up with another injury. Put in the time and effort to make sure you can learn to train safely, with intensity, next month, next year and next decade.

If you are interested in learning more about the Functional Movement Screen and corrective exercise training, post a comment, email me, or join the blog!  I’ll be posting more info on this topic periodically!

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