Joint Instability

Stability is defined as the preservation of space during movement and posture. Joint instability disrupts posture, creates pain throughout the body, and greatly diminishes or restricts movement. It is the imbalance of posture and the lack of fluid movement that causes pain and muffles our lives.

As bipedal beings we humans are in a constant fight against gravity during movement and posture. The bones that make up our skeletons are suspended in an amazing matrix of connective tissue. Our muscles act as multi-fibered rope and pulley systems on the bones to initiate and drive movement as well as sustain posture. Bones and joints (where bones articulate) don’t just randomly move. Muscles and connective tissue keep joints stable during movement and posture.

When muscles are weak they have a really difficult time sustaining joint stability. More times than not the entire muscle is not weak but only a few fibers within that muscle are weak, or rather they are not fully functioning. Picture a puppet hanging by a group of strings. When all the strings are freely moving the puppet moves with ease and have balance. Entangle or disrupt even just one string and the puppet becomes clumsy, awkward and unstable. The non-tangled strings now take on the effects of gravity even more and quickly become stressed. Before you know it the puppet is restricted to life on the shelf. Total or partial muscle weakness causes joint movement to be clumsy and awkward much like that of the puppet. When this occurs other muscle fibers must work harder to stabilize the movements of our bodies in time and space. These overworked fibers eventually fail over time when constantly challenged by gravity.

What causes muscle fibers not to function properly? The short answer is connective tissue pattern disruption and/or restriction. Nerve fibers, blood vessels, and lymph vessels course through, over and around muscles, bones, and organs. All of the previously mentioned are covered and suspended within the connective tissue matrix. Restrictions in the connective tissue reduce the space throughout the whole matrix which reduces the flow of blood and lymph as well as nerve conduction. Decreased flow and nerve conduction causes a decrease in muscle fiber function and shows up as weakness.

Creating space in the body by applying micro and macro connective tissue stretching accompanied by compression frees up connective tissue restrictions. This awakens targeted muscle areas that were previously dormant. Once the dormant areas are revived, muscle function is restored and stability becomes unconsciously present. When stability is returned, movement normalizes or even enhanced and pain can now be reduced or totally wiped away.

– Stephen Warren LMT

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