Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mobility and Stability expanded...

Mike Nelson has a great blog today on the concept of Joint Mobility vs. Stability and I wanted to try to add my two cents worth in here because I have used the terms Mobility and Stability to describe a linking or alternating pattern through the joints in the body. And I think this has at times caused issues due to semantics.

When I reference the mobility and stability trail I am referring to the concept that from the ground up the Foot should be stabile, the Ankle should be mobile, the Knee should be stabile, the hip should be mobile, the low back stabile, the thoracic spine mobile, the scapula stabile and the gleno-humeral joint mobile.

Now the problem here is that the terms mobile and stabile carry different and multiple meanings depending on context and background.

When I say a "the foot should be stabile" - I am not saying that the joints and structures within the foot should not have their full range of motion - I am saying that the primary characteristic of the foot is that it maintains its arch under load and that it is stabile under load - NOT that it is locked down and lacks it's normal range of motion.

And when I say "the ankle should be mobile" - I am saying that it's primary characteristic is it's ability to move through its normal range of motion under load - NOT that it is sloppy and moves beyond it's normal range of motion and has no stability.

And the Mobility/Stability trail was meant as a guide to a joints "Primary" characteristic and what happens when one of these joints loses it's primary characteristic. For example if the foot/arch becomes sloppy (meaning it loses it's ability to hold the arch and moves beyond it's normal range of motion) then the ankle which now does not have the support of a normal arch and begins to move beyond it's normal range of motion - begins to stiffen up losing mobility.

So using the terms mobility and stability in the context of the primary characteristics of a joint under load leads to some misunderstandings when it is not viewed in that context. All joints should be stabile within their full and natural range of motion.


Mike T Nelson said...

Thanks for comments and reference to my blog. I answered your last question there just now too.

Rock on
Mike N

fawn said...

Excellent message Brett.

Fuzz said...

Hi Brett,

I like the last line, "All joints should be stable within their full and natural range of motion."

Simple and easy enough but also easy to be misinterpreted without proper background and knowledge.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Mike, Fawn and Andy - perspective, semantics etc.. play such a huge roll especially in the one dimensional communication world of the internet.

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