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As an athlete, you’ve surely heard of biomechanics (the application of mechanical laws to living structures) and body mechanics (how the body moves) but most likely you’ve never heard of torsional body mechanics. Understanding this concept this will definitely help you in your quest for sports performance enhancement.
Let’s start with the definition of ‘anatomical neutral position’. The definition of ‘anatomical neutral position’ is joint congruity, that is, in which the surfaces of a joint are parallel to one another.
Your weight bearing joints (ankles, knees, hips and spine) can move in one of two ways – either symmetrically around their anatomical neutral position or asymmetrically around their anatomical neutral position. I refer to this motion of the joints moving symmetrically (around their anatomical neutral position) as linear body mechanics. I refer to the motion of the joints moving asymmetrically (around their anatomical neutral positon) as torsional body mechanics. In this article we will talk about torsional body mechanics.
Torsional Body Mechanics
The joint is meant to function around its anatomical neutral position. Here it moves easily with less energy expenditure, it wears evenly and lasts longer. In other words, the joint performs at its optimum level.
When the joint no longer functions symmetrically around its anatomical neutral position, it starts to twist/turn abnormally. This twisting creates stress, inflammation and resulting deformation (asymmetrical thinning of the cartilage, collapsing of the joint space, spurring and mice) within the joint. If left untreated (or ineffectively treated) this can lead to a total collapse and fusion of the joint – the end stages of osteodegenerative arthritis. For the average person, this is bad news. For an athlete, it means the end of a promising career.
What Creates Torsional Body Mechanics?
Torsional body Mechanics can be the result of injury. For example, a tear of the tensor fascia lata can result in torsional mechanics within the hip joint. In this case only the hip joint is affected and the other weight bearing joints still function in linear mechanics. A partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligment can result in torsional mechanics in the knee joint. In this case, only the knee joint is affected and the other weight bearing joints still function in linear mechanics.
Another cause of torsional mechanics, which is very common, is having one of two inherited abnormal foot structures, the Rothbarts Foot or PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity. Either of these foot structures will force your foot to twist (i.e., torsional mechanics) when you walk or stand.
This foot twist will cascade up your skeletal framework, resulting in torsional mechanics within your ankle, knee, hip, back and jaw. This is a global pattern of torsional body mechanics, which is much more insidious and destructive than the regional torsional mechanics resulting from an injury.
Global torsional body mechanics results in osteodegenerative arthritis in many or all of the weight bearing joints and dramatically reduces sports performance. In fact, global torsional body mechanics is one of the leading causes of a premature ending of a professional sports career.
If you’re searching for sports performance enhancement, reading the Curing Chronic Pain website will give you more information about the abnormal foot structures I discovered that can hinder you from achieving your full potential in sports performance and help you to determine whether an Initial Phone Consultation with Professor/Dr. Rothbart might be helpful.
For a more complete explanation of the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, read:
Abnormal Foot Structures That Cause Chronic Pain
To find out if you may have one of two common inherited, abnormal foot structures that cause chronic muscle and joint pain, take the Rothbarts Foot Questionnaire.
As you learn more about my innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.
If you have questions about what’s involved in being treated with Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy by long distance, see our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page.
If you would like to contact me regarding an appointment to resolve your chronic muscle and joint pain, click here.
Professor/Dr. Brian A. Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of International Academy of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain