How do you feel about the five finger Vibram shoes? Good idea? Waste of money? Do you own a pair? Have you thought about it? Leave a comment and let us know how you feel about them!
Tell us what you really think - you can even be anonymous if you'd like!Then take a look at this website (click HERE) and see why the U.S. Military has banned them.
There's two sides to every story though. There's also the "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" attitude as the Running Jackalope
says! Or look HERE
to see Vibrams in the news and who's wearing them!Whatever you decide,
As a wedding gift, my husband took me to get my first pair of (affectionately termed) frog shoes; aka Vibram Five Fingers. He had read about them and had a good friend who had recommended them; he knew I would be intrigued and he was right. I threw myself head first into evaluating every aspect of this new "biomechanical wonder."
I was skeptical, to say the least. I had heard all about the barefoot movement and minimalist shoe design. I had read articles both for and against this concept; and I still debated whether this was a fad or something that would change biomechanics forever. I had new reason to objectively re-evaluate the literature and have lengthy discussions regarding the underlying biomechanics with my mentor and good friend.
I had already been doing my foot fitness from years of previous injury and my own biomechanical deficiencies. I thought I was ahead of the game, and wore them immediately. I was shocked how different they were and how far I still had to go! Over the next several weeks, I attacked my foot fitness with a new energy and very gradually increased my use of the shoes in my workouts and daily life.
By the time of our wedding, I had strengthened myself to wearing Vibrams all day, every day without complaint; in fact they were starting to become more comfortable than regular shoes. While on our honeymoon, we went for a very rigorous canyon hike, on very uneven and difficult terrain. After ten hours of difficult hiking, I finished strong and felt as if I could do it all over again- right away. I was shocked that for the first time of long duration, strenuous activity I had no joint aches or pains and my feet didn't even feel tired!
I was beginning to believe that maybe there was something to this new movement. When we returned home, I scoured for information from reputable sources. I realized there was overwhelming evidence that those who are good candidates, should convert to a "minimalist" or "barefoot" style of training. Not only for running, but fitness as well.
For thousands of years we roamed the forests and our feet were forced to grip and bend with every step. Most of us have been in shoes since we began walking. Our feet only grip a flat, solid surface and rarely if ever bend because of the rigid soles. Many people know they "overpronate" and therefore are told they need a specific shoe to correct it. We rely on "arch support" or on stabilizers to prevent our ankles from rolling. The result is weakness, stiffness, and often injury.
Over the past few decades the choices in footwear and athletic footware have skyrocketed. Yet, there has been a consistent increase in foot and ankle injuries from ankle sprains, metatarsalgia, plantars fasciitis and even stress fractures. Current research is now suggesting it is because we have outsmarted ourselves and need to go back to the basis. This is the foundation of "minimalist" shoes. They are designed to allow foot movement and encourage gripping and proper foot musculature, just as our feet have done for ages.
There are many factors which determine whether barefoot training is the best option for you. For most people minimalist shoewear is the best option, but you must first do your homework. Jumping into a minimalist shoe without properly training your feet first is a recipe for disaster. Gradually increasing your use, and combing the appropriate foot strengthening will help reduce your risk of injuries associated with minimalist shoes. A complete evaluation is needed to help determine your foot movement, foot strength, natural biomechanical tendencies, and any residual problems from previous injuries.
Hopefully you found this series interesting. Next week, stay tuned for a new series: Its All Connected!
THE GREAT ORTHOTIC DEBATE
Orthotics are good. They are bad. Hard vs. Soft Orthotics. Custom vs. store bought? Hard Casted, foam casted, Static vs. Functional? So many debates about such a seemingly simple concept. There are hundreds of theories out there, so what is the true answer? As always, it somewhat depends. First, the answer is different for everyone and should be evaluated by someone who truly has done their research. Caution here: many providers that sell orthotics choose their type solely because that is what worked for them; many providers have not truly research WHY certain types of orthotics are best, the rules have changed drastically in recent years. Just because you are told you need them, does not necessarily mean that is the case.
While this article represents my "opinion" based on the current research and theories, these are the best guidelines and backgrounds I can currently give to help muddle through the quagmire of information.
DO I NEED ORTHOTICS?
The answer is most likely no. As discussed previously, most people have never trained their feet; since the age of 2, we have been put in a solid shoe that provides constant stability and support. Of course our feet are weak, our arches falling, and our movement patterns destroyed. The vast majority of conditions for which orthotics are prescribed can be corrected solely by doing a little work. Orthotics are nothing more than band-aids. They may make you feel better, and get rid of your symptoms, but it is only a matter of time before another ache/pain come creeping in because you have not corrected ANY of your mechanics.
If you supposedly have a "leg length discrepancy" make sure you find out if it is "anatomical" (meaning actually a different in length of bone) or "functional" (meaning one leg functions longer than the other, but the bones are equal length). Basically, if you did not have a difference at birth, a fracture during childhood through a growth plate, or a major joint replacement (and the surgeon told you there would be a difference)- it's almost guaranteed functional! Functional discrepancies will get worse with an orthotic or heel lift, and can be corrected through corrective exercise. Anatomical differences should only be corrected if significant symptoms accompany the discrepancy.
IF you have performed extensive foot training and/or corrective exercise with the help of a knowledgeable professional, and still find yourself stuck- then and ONLY then should an orthotic even come onto your radar.
CUSTOM VS GENERIC ORTHOTICS?
Custom orthotics are almost always the way to go for a long-term solution (IF you need them). These orthotics are designed just for you; but be careful because there are many different types, and research has changed its tune in recent years about what is best!
Generic orthotics can be great for several purposes, however. First, using an orthotic during your foot training to encourage new patterns as strength is built. Second, to provide additional support during recovery from some sort of injury. Think of generic orthotics as short-term band-aids but not as permanent solutions.
HARD vs. SOFT ORTHOTICS?
There was a reason for the old saying: everything in moderation!
Rigid, or hard orthotics have been shown very effective in supporting the arch and forcing the foot into proper positions and patterns. They do not break down as easily, and can just be "re-soled" to add life to an expensive venture. However, there is a downside. They force the foot into proper positions. This can cause pressure points and sores (absolutely a no in diabetic patients, or those with reduced sensation in their feet). This also stops the dissipation of force. Remember our discussion last post about pronation actually being a good thing?
Soft orthotics have been shown very effective in absorbing forces and cushioning. They typically do not allow for sores or pressure points. Very soft orthotics create a relatively unstable surface; this causes the intrinsic muscles of the feet to work much harder and can actually make some symptoms worse. They also can break down quickly, losing their ability to support the foot as they once did.
You're best bet is to look for an orthotic in the middle. Some companies have a rigid plastic that actually gives under load (and will be ordered according to your weight and type of activity); they do not deform over time. Cork orthotics are also available (although these will deform more long-term and will need to be replaced). These can provide the best of both worlds.
TYPES OF ORTHOTIC FITTING?
There are many types of fittings for orthotics. From making a cast or foam mold of the foot, to standing or moving across a board with sensors. The best way to cover all of these concisely is to group them into two main categories: Static vs. Dynamic Fittings.
Static Fittings include casting the foot in plaster or foam, standing in one position on a sensor board, etc. They typically are performed either sitting or standing and are based on only one position of the foot. These do not evaluate the actual motion of the foot, and are almost always not the best choice.
Dynamic Fittings include using a sensor board, or ink mapping to evaluate the motion of the foot during an activity. While they take longer and are slightly more difficult to get an accurate read, these are the best choices. Your gait and movement will be assessed in any number of activities from standing or walking to running. What your foot does at any point during an activity can be vastly different than the snapshot of you standing!
Orthotics should be viewed as either a temporary training aid, or last resort unless there is a very real and true anatomic reason the body cannot perform its proper functions. While it takes a little elbow grease (or tow jam in this case), the work you put into your foot fitness will determine what you get out. IF an orthotic is deemed necessary (by a very knowledgeable provider only), request a custom orthotic that is dynamically fitted and is moderately hard.
Stay tuned. Final post this series: The Gift of Frog Shoes.
PURCHASING PROPER FOOTWEAR
There is always a debate to the proper type of footwear. Every person is different, their foot mechanics are different, and their needs are different. However, anatomically we are all the same and there are some very important commonalities you should look for.
With the "minimalist" shoe movement, many of these shoes have these qualities. Whenever possible, and for most (not all) people, these are the best choices. However, you still need to evaluate what you are getting. Just because a shoe is labeled "minimal" does not mean it is good!
Our bodies are designed to balance our weight straight up and down. With proper posture, our bodies have to expend little to no energy to maintain this position; tension on ligaments and pressure from bones and joints mainly hold us there. With ANY positive heel, meaning higher heel than toe, every joint angle changes from the ankles to the neck, along with the pressures on these joints.
Many athletic shoes can have up to a 2 inch heel without you realizing it (Nike shocks, anyone?). Look at the shoe from the side, if there is thicker rubber under the heel than the toe, put it back.
(Side Note. Many people have "inactive" glutes. This not only causes injuries, but limits your performance. This is a major culprit. If you have not "earned" heels but fixing ALL of your mechanics you should never, ever have a shoe with a heel on.)
Wide toe box
There should be ample room not just in front of your toes, but to the sides of your toes. Your feet and toes help grip the ground AND distribute forces as you move. If your toes and the longer bones of your foot cannot spread out, the muscles cannot do their jobs and forces are not absorbed properly.
Look at the shoe from the top. Is the toe box (toe area of the shoe) wider than the heel? Is the toe more square than rounded or pointed? If not, keep looking.
(Side Note: Bunions, Metatarsalgia, Morton's Neuroma, etc are all conditions related to long term wear of shoes that do not fit properly. The human foot SHOULD be wider at the base of the toes than at the ankle. Most peoples' feet have changed as muscles have weakened. See the article titled "FIT FEET" for more information.)
There are some exceptions to this (i.e. recent stress fracture, fracture or foot injury, etc). However, the sole of your shoe should mimic how your foot naturally moves. There are 33 joints in your foot and ankle; each has movement which combines to make (or should make) a very flexible foot. Many people have rigid feet and toes from being shoved in shoes since an early age. If some joints "stick" others have to pick up the slack. Leading to arthritis. If the joints don't carry the extra forces, something else has to: Plantar's Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, Stress Fractures, Tendonosis, the list could go on....
As a rule you should be able to bend, twist and flex the sole very easily. If not, put it away.
Minimal Arch Support
Several things here. First, pronation is actually a good thing! Pronation is how your body absorbs the force of all of you weight when you move. Sticking something in the arch that stops this process actually creates a brick wall that those forces hit. Those vibrations are transferred up every joint and tissue until they are absorbed. Remember middle school when you built protection for your egg that got dropped from the roof? The whole point was to create cushioning and to slow the egg down over a longer period of time instead of having it splat on a hard surface. Putting a block under your arch negates this same process (see the article titled: "THE GREAT ORTHOTIC DEBATE" for more information).
Second, your feet have muscles for a reason. The muscles both in your foot, and in your lower leg that help control the foot are designed to stabilize the foot and arch on their own. Using an arch support weakens these muscles. Then when you attempt to walk or move without that added support the body cannot do its job.
You may need to work into this rule. BEFORE you start changing shoes, perform the necessary exercises to strengthen your feet. Gradually work into this one. As a rule, when you place your foot inside the shoes, there should be no pressure or bulge on the inside middle portion of your arch.
Make sure to buy shoes based on need, not on price or marketing. Your foot should absorb forces naturally, so you shouldn't NEED to buy new shoes constantly. That being said, if you have not strengthened your feet first and they are not functioning properly; when shoes do begin wearing out, or when you notice changes in how your body feels after activity, it's probably time to retire your old friends. Also realize that high priced "technology" in shoes doesn't always mean superior mechanics, but cheap shoes often don't last as long as they should.
Stay tuned for more information. Up next: THE GREAT ORTHOTIC DEBATE.
Next weekend, January 28th and 29th, come visit me at the MultiSport Expo at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex! I'll be there along with Elizabeth Hoffman of Hands On Inc., and Nick Rosencutter of Rosencutter Ultra Fitness and Performance! Stop by if you have a chance! Your body will thank you!
Click on the photo to be taken to the MultiSport Expo website!
FIT FEET The first thing to realize is that your feet are comprised of very similar muscles to your hands. Believe it or not, your feet are designed for dexterity. Next you must realize that your feet will start out very weak due to the lack of training, so strength must be built gradually over time. Third, old patterns are hard to break, and as endurance is tested they old patterns will return. Care must be taken to progress properly to ensure old patterns are truly broken! The best way to start a foot fitness program, is to start with an evaluation. The following is the very basic design of a program with a few simple exercises. Please realize that since everyone develops different patterns, there is no substitute to an individualized program. PHASE I: RECRUITMENT Start by learning how to recruit each individual muscle in your foot. You must learn how to isolate these muscles, just as you must learn to isolate the bicep when performing a curl. Start seated, and while keeping your foot flat for each of these, learn each motion:
Once you can isolate each of these positions without terrible difficulty, you are ready to move to Phase II. PHASE II: STRENGTH Once you have achieved isolation and you have learned to recruit the muscles of your feet, the next step is building strength. The general progression for each of these is to begin seated, then work toward standing with equal weight on each foot. As you progress, gradually shift your weight more onto the foot you are working until you have 100% of your weight on one foot.
- Lifting each toe individually (without the others moving).
- Pressing each toe into the ground (without curling) individually.
- Spreading the toes apart.
- Squeezing the toes together.
- Lifting the arch by curling the toes.
- Lifting the arch by keeping the toes straight (this is what we call a "Short Foot" Exercise)
If you can achieve the numbers and exercises listed here, you are ready for Integrating your new mechanics into your daily routines. PHASE III: ENDURANCE As new habits are formed and neurologic patterns supporting those habits are strengthened, endurance must be challenged. Many of the "Strength" exercises can be performed isometrically for long periods of time to build endurance. Remember when you train isometrics, you only build strength at that specific range. So make sure you change angles and positions each time to encourage strength and endurance from all the muscle fibers. For example: A Vele's Lean can be held for 1 minute at 10 degrees lean, then again at 20 degrees lean after a rest. Likewise, a one foot balance can be performed with the eyes open, eyes closed, moving the arms or head, or looking in different directions. Any additional challenge will help build endurance. Keep repetitions higher (20+) in a given set, and times over 45-60 seconds when possible. PHASE IV: INTEGRATION The key with integration is that this is completely individualized. You should be on a set, individualized fitness program at all times. There are reasons for EVERYTHING in a properly designed program and just haphazardly training is a recipe for disaster! Get some help on this stage especially (If you haven't already)....but the bottom-line is that you are taking all of the above exercises and incorporating them into your current routine. Short foot hold while you squat. Feel each individual muscle fire and function in your gait. Add a Vele's Lean into your calf strengthening. Allow each of your toes to strike the ground individually while walking, running, prowler pushing or sled dragging, etc. This stage is where you actually build patterns specifically to your sport or activity. You should cycle through multiple programs with different exercises, always incorporating your new foot strength. This ensures your new patterns truly are patterns and that your subconscious muscle memory is strengthening at the same time! Stay tuned for more info. Up next: PURCHASING PROPER FOOTWEAR.
- Wash cloth drag:Lay a washcloth on the floor. Without lifting your heel, spread your toes in the air, grab the cloth and drag it toward you. When you first begin this, expect to have a difficult time! Many people cannot grab the towel when they first begin. Eventually, you should be able to pull the towel while standing entirely on one leg several times without feeling tired.
- Standing Short Foot: Just like in phase, perform the short foot, but this time standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Work for both repetitions and for static holds. Eventually you should be able to perform at least 20 repetitions and/or hold your balance with a short foot for at least 60 seconds.
- "Vele's" Lean: Start standing with your feet shoulder width, facing a wall with your toes approximately 3 inches away. Stand tall, without lifting your heels, lean forward to touch your nose, then return to standing. Gradually work further away until you are 8-10 inches from the wall. Once you can perform 15-20 repetitions without fatigue, progress toward one foot. Eventually you should be able to add different directions and angles to your lean without difficulty.
- One foot balance:Make sure to adequately clear an area for any balance faux-pas! Just as you could isolate your foot muscles sitting, you should be able to do the same here without losing balance. While standing on one foot, (hold on to start, then work toward a free stand), perform all the motions listed in Phase I. This can also be performed while tossing a light ball to a friend. Toss and catch with two hands, then challenge each other by tossing slightly off of center.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FEET
Welcome to a 5 part series all about the feet. Your feet are surprisingly important to your health, yet they stay tucked away inside a dark, often too small or poorly designed cave for the better part of most people's lives. Over the next 5 weeks, you will find a new post each week detailing one of the most forgotten but most important parts of our bodies.
Week 1: It's All about the Feet.
Week 2: Fit Feet (exercising your feet)
Week 3: Purchasing Proper Footwear
Week 4: The Great Orthotic Debate
Week 5: The gift of Frog Shoes
Let's get started with the basics.
There are 22 bones in the human foot. 33 joints are found in one foot and ankle. All of the muscles directly connecting to the feet (when considered on both sides) make up about 25% of the muscles in the human body. Our feet play a large role in our balance. They absorb forces while we move. They are critical in supplying information about our environment to the brain. The feet are actually designed very similar to hands with many of the "same" muscles; therefore they should move like the hands.
Why the big deal?
Sensors in the bottoms of our feet detect EVERYTHING from temperature and texture to pressure and terrain. This information is sent to the brain to process. The body uses this information to adjust muscular tension to keep you balanced, change your gait and foot position to avoid injury or to change other physiologic responses based on your environment (i.e. changing blood flow to areas that need it if it is cold outside.)
For various reasons (not the least of which being shoe wear), these sensors have become dull and do not relay information as they are designed to. Training your feet properly can help awaken the sensors in your feet that relay information to the brain!
Our feet also work to absorb forces. Every time you take a step, whether walking or running you create a force. Newton's Law: For every force there is an equal and opposite force. Where does that force go? In healthy feet, they absorbed within the joints, ligaments and soft tissue of the feet, legs, hips, and back. They are evenly distributed allowing no single area to develop unnecessary tension or pressure. In untrained feet, forces are not absorbed properly and are focused to one particular area. This can cause any number of injuries not only in the feet, but throughout the body!
There are two "categories" of muscles that affect the foot. Intrinsic foot muscles are muscles that have both ends directly attach within the foot; these control the movement of joints within the foot. Extrinsic foot muscles are muscles which have one end attached within the foot, and the other end in the lower leg; these move the foot relative to the lower leg. These muscles work together to support the joints in the foot, support the arch, and to move the foot properly.
As with all areas of the body, these muscles have a complex balance which must be achieved. Most people have never actually exercised their feet, yet at 25% of the muscles in the body that is a huge area to ignore! The following series of articles are designed to help you sort through current debates and learn how you can achieve proper balance.
Stay tuned for more. Up next: "FIT FEET."
Now that school has been picking up and finals are coming around, don't overload your backpack! Over half of students today are carrying more than 15% of their body weight in their backpack, which is too much. Carrying too much could lead to long term back problems. Take 3 minutes to weigh your child and their loaded backpack, it could save them lots of back pain in the future!
From the article, "School's in Session—How Heavy is Too Heavy for a Backpack?
" by Christopher Mathew Burt
Kate Byrne knows she's not doing her back any favors.
In her backpack, Byrne, a Carleton College
student, carries "books, lots and lots of books," she said. "I'm a humanities major."
Bryne isn't alone.
As students of all ages are now once again walking the halls of their respective schools, backpacks are overloaded, tugging at the straps.
"Overloaded backpacks will set you up for long-term back pain," said Dr. Bill Barrett, Chief Clinical Officer of ChiroCare
in Shoreview, MN.
He has seen an increased amount of students—as well as young adults—coming to physicians with back and neck pain.
In many cases, Barrett says, the situation could have been resolved early on by the correct pack size and lightening the weight carried in school.
The American Occupational Therapy Association
—a group of occupational therapists that help people extend their life through everyday activities—says on their website
that “six out of ten students 9 to 20 years of age reported chronic back pain related to backpacks.”
Some adverse effects include: neck, back, shoulder, joint and muscle pain; disrupted and improper posture habits; poor circulation in the nerves around the area in contact with the straps of the backpack.
Although a student may not appear to have any symptoms of discomfort at the time, long-term problems are possible.
Barrett sends his message not only to students and their parents but to teachers as well. When a teacher is aware that a student is carrying a particularly heavy backpack, he said they should suggest to the student to split up the amount they carry at one time.
Byrne said she wasn't concerned when shown the AOTA statistics about overloaded backpacks.
“As a smaller person it wouldn’t be functional,” she said. “I don’t want Dora (the Explorer) on my back.”
If you, your child, or student are experiencing back pain or soreness of the neck, Barrett said you should consult a physician.
Tips for back and neck pain prevention
- Never carry more than 15 percent of your weight. For instance: a child who weighs 120 pounds should not carry more than 18 pounds.
- Measure your back and buy the correct backpack size.
- Keep heavy items close to your back.
- Wear both shoulder straps, padded straps.
- Adjust straps to correctly position the backpack.
- If the backpack has a belt at the waist, use it.
- Remove unnecessary items.
- If you must carry heavy loads, consider a bag on wheels.
To see the full article, please visit:
An article recently written from Dr. Sasha Pais. View Dr. Pais' practice website here!
Many of us are aware that Chiropractic care can be of huge relief for pregnancy related low back pain and other symptoms that expectant moms experience. If you’re lucky enough to be a Chiropractic patient before becoming pregnant, then you’re probably more likely to visit your doctor when those problems arise. But what if you’re not experiencing any discomfort? Does the wellness aspect of Chiropractic still apply during pregnancy? Absolutely!
As your body begins to change and adapt to a growing baby, it puts a new set of stressors on your spine and pelvis. Your center of gravity begins to shift as your belly grows, your ribs expand and your pelvis widens to make more room for the baby. Room for baby is important! Adequate space is necessary for a baby to move around and make its way to that perfect, head down position for birth. Breech position, or babies that are “head up”, are one of the most common causes for caesarian section deliveries. This is where wellness Chiropractic and the Webster Technique fit in.
The Webster Technique is a specialized Chiropractic technique that analyzes the pelvis and the muscles and ligaments that hold the pelvis together. Intrauterine constraint is a term used to describe obstruction to normal movement of the fetus. It can be caused by uterine torsion, or twisting of the uterus, which can occur when there is imbalance to a mother’s pelvis. Intrauterine constraint is a common reason for delay in delivery that can often end in cesarean section surgery.
By maintaining proper joint motion and balance in the pelvis, you allow the most room for a baby to grow and move and also help the pelvis to be in the best shape for a natural delivery!
So how often should you see your Chiropractor for pregnancy care? Beginning in the second trimester, we recommend coming in once a month. During months 7 and 8, twice a month and then in the final month, as the baby gets bigger and bigger, we generally see you once a week until delivery.
View the article here also: http://mim.io/9a60a1?fe=1&pact=5518835424
If you have not already seen my blog posts this past month regarding a knee case Elizabeth and I were working on, it's worth checking out (www/millerswc.com/blog.html). I received a call one day from a patient who had tripped and fallen, landing straight on her knee. Although she could walk on it, it was really bruised, swollen and stiff. She had put off getting care for injuries in the past- and had paid for it later; she wondered if there was anything we could and/or should do for it. Check out the blog for exactly what had happened, what we did to help her and the speedy recovery she was able to have! We hear stories like this all too often, and I myself have fallen victim to "it will just get better." After all, "do as I say, not as I do" could easily be my motto. More than once (three times in fact) I chose to keep competing on a fractured limb just so I wouldn't have to miss my sports season, or stop doing what I love. 16 major injuries in just 11 years has given me a very clear understanding of what my patients are going through! There is a reality there we must all acknowledge. The reality is that the longer an injury is left untreated, even if seemingly minor, the worse off it will be in the long run. This is for several reasons:
SECONDARY DAMAGE Stay tuned for upcoming posts on my blog which will go more in-depth into the cause and results of secondary damage. For now, we'll just touch on the basics. When the body sustains an injury, messages are sent to the brain about the damage and the need to "splint" the area and/or begin repair work. The body sends tons of materials to the area to provide support and "building blocks" for the construction to come. It also causes many surrounding muscles to spasm or in some cases "turn-off" in an effort to protect the area. Several problems occur. First, a traffic jam is created and the old, damage tissue struggles to clear the area. Second, as smart as the body is, it " kills an ant with a boulder" and completely overdoes repair work and tissue formation (scar tissue or adhesions sound familiar?) Thirdly, many joints get more nutrients through moving and increasing blood supply, if they are "splinted" unnecessarily they actually heal slower and with decreased quality of tissue. LEARNING PAIN As the neurological system sends messages to and from the brain, neurons must talk to each other to transmit these signals. Over time, these connections are strengthened and the body "learns" these pathways. These connections become increasingly more difficult to break the longer they are in place. COMPENSATIONS The body always finds ways to accomplish what it needs to. The question is what will it use to substitute for a damaged muscle, ligament or tendon; what other joints are overworking for the lack of movement in a "splinted" area. The structures and tissues forced to compensate and take the extra pressure are not designed to take on these extra loads. These tissues are at high risk of injury, and in addition, the body also learns these new compensation patterns. So something seemingly minor can create poor "mechanics" or body patterns even years down the road. So whether it's a new injury, or a chronic ache and pain you have been putting off treatment for, remember that its always better to be "safe than sorry"!
- Secondary damage is allowed to set up, which causes more damage.
- Your neurological system actually "learns" pain and new pathways to transmit it, which become increasingly more difficult to break.
- Last but certainly not least: compensations, compensations, compensations.