The Joint By Joint Approach
WHAT IS THE JOINT BY JOINT APPROACH?
This approach to treatment looks at the joints of the body and their specific functions in relation to movement. This can be a good way to look at the body to determine one of the possible reasons a client is experiencing pain or “stiffness”. The way our joints are designed, some are designed for stability, while others are designed for mobility. In other words, some are supposed to be able to move more and some are supposed to move less.
JOINTS OF THE BODY
Mobile Joints: ankle, hips, thoracic spine (middle back), shoulder, wrist, upper cervical spine (neck, base of skull)
Stable Joints: foot, knee, lumbar spine (lower back), elbow, hand, mid/lower cervical spine
During treatment, it is common to find that the joints that are supposed to be more mobile tend to lack range of motion. When this happens, it can be common for the body to compensate, forcing more movement from the joints that are supposed to be giving us more support.
POSSIBLE CAUSE OF PAIN?
One very common trend we see in our clients is that the middle back tends to be very tight, as do the hips. The client usually feels pain in the lower back. It is thought that perhaps since the joints above and below are moving less, now the lower back has to move more. In addition, the lumbar spine is also providing us with support so it needs to work pretty hard to accomplish all of that! Another example is with knee rotation injuries that can occur if the ankle is not moving properly. The knee is supposed to provide us with support but if the ankle is not allowing rotation, that will move up to the next joint, the knee. Again, we have a very hard working joint! This reason is why in treatment we don’t always only work on the area that is causing the client pain, but other areas around it as well.
There can be many causes for pain. Pain is tricky to figure out which is why so many people live with chronic paiin. However, as Massage Therapists working with the body, this concept is a good place to start in helping people move a little bit more efficiently!
WANT TO LEARN MORE? VISIT THESE LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE JOINT BY JOINT APPROACH: