Motor Repatterning

INJURY & JOINT DISFUNCTION

Biomechanical Issues

Many times injuries and joint disfunction occur due to poor biomechanics. For example, in fight or flight, the relationship between the end of bottom of the femur and the top of the tibia changes. This overstretches the ACL and puts compression and friction forces on the meniscus and cartilage. This can lead to tears or degradation of the tissues and joint structure. Rotator cuff tears are similarly related to fight or flight structural changes leading to tissue length being challenged.

When rehabilitating an injury, it is extremely important to address motor patterns. If the injury or disfunction is due to structural and movement patterns that are creating non-optimal biomechanics, it is essential to create more open, structurally sound motor patterns so that the injured area can recover.

This MRI shows the bottom of the femur bone positioned in front of the top of the shin bone, a position that is the result of fight or flight motor reflexes

Injury Prevention

Creating biomechanically sound motor patterns is also an excellent way to prevent injury. If the body can move without stressing connective tissues, with space in the joints, and without compressing nerves, blood vessels, or other systems, then potential for injury decreases dramatically.

The ACL has attachment points on the shin and femur bones. Changing the optimal position of these bones by activating fight or flight motor reflexes can challenge the length of tendons in the joint and can cause tears.

Internal Pressure

Internal pressure creates shape and protection by giving us the ability to respond to the pressures that the external world exerts on us.

Internal pressure is important for injury prevention. Internal pressure allows the body to hold its shape against external pressure, such as the body might experience in a fall. Lack of internal pressure allows for more change in form when external pressure is applied, much like these hot air balloons changing shape when they come into contact with the ground.

This changeability decreases the amount of protection available for the skin layer or internal components of the body. By contrast, the fully-inflated balloon would not change shape so easily thus providing extra cushioning for internal components, as well as the external shell that comes in contact with the ground or other object.

The presence of internal pressure is related to nervous system state and functioning of the valve system. This would also be addressed in the motor repatterning process.

These hot air balloons with less internal pressure can change shape easily against the ground, which provides less protection for the surface and anything inside.