Hands On Healing utilizes a “joint-by-joint” approach for treatment of injury and body dysfunction. We’re located in Montgomery, Alabama.
Although not every person may turn out to be a pro athlete or fitness professional, many of the techniques that trainers use in their practice have given rise to concepts that everyday people can employ to see functional improvements in their own health.
In previous blog posts we’ve discussed the subject of proper form and function when exercising, which trainers utilize to accomplish the basic goal of injury prevention.
One such concept for injury prevention and healthier patterns in movement is referred to as the Joint-by-Joint approach (JBJ approach).
The creation and development of the JBJ approach came to light during a bit of a brainstorming session between Grey Cook, MSPT, OCS, CSCS., and Michael Boyle, a leading expert in the field of physical fitness and training.
Grey and Michael explored the idea that the body is built on a system of alternating mobile and stable joints which form the healthy patterns of normal movement.
Another aspect of the JBJ approach is that when a joint deviates from its ideal function, the joint either below or above will compensate, potentially developing symptomatic conditions and pain.
Starting from the ground up (see in Figure 1, click to enlarge), the ankle should be mobile, followed by a stable knee and mobile hip, supporting a stable lumbar spine and mobile thoracic spine.
The pattern continues through the neck, as well as out the shoulders and arms, in the same alternating pattern. This ideal layout of function in each joint goes far beyond just exercise and training, and can be applied to everyday bodies to help shed light on some very common dysfunctions and discomforts.
From a basic standpoint, when the body loses ankle mobility, it’s very common to see a client express knee pain.
Much of the same occurs with the loss of hip mobility, often developing into lower back pain, or even potentially contributing to knee pain. Others patterns can arise as well from the loss of stability in specific areas, such as the shoulder blades not engaging properly, thus developing into a dysfunctional shoulder joint pattern and creating pain, or potential rotator cuff tear(s).
It’s important to note that the JBJ approach is in no way a diagnosis of underlying problems in the body, and serious issues should be checked by a doctor. From that point, working to resolve an issue always requires finding the cause of pain and dysfunction rather than treating a symptom.
Each person’s dysfunction will be unique to their pattern of life, thus when looking at the body through the JBJ approach, it can offer insight into taking a different direction to continue seeing improvements and changes, when other methods have ceased to work.