The Performance Matrix

Changing the way we move

21st August 2012

Mark Comerford discusses some of the factors that we look at when trying to identify uncontrolled movement.


 Alterations in muscle co-ordination around a joint segment may produce uncontroleed movement and pain

© Movement Performance Solutions 1995 - 2012

Firstly, if we look at this as a stylised ball and socket joint such as a shoulder or hip joint we can see a socket that the joint sits in and then the dotted circle represents the joint being  centred in the socket.  
When the balance of force couples around the joint are well coordinated the joint moves and stays fairly well centred within the socket, during motion; but if during motion one muscle group, the muscles on one side of the joint, develop over-pull, that is, they can generate excessive force, they become dominant, they become overactive; this tends to happen in the multi joint mobiliser muscles.

On the other side of the joint we could have under-pull, caused by inefficient activation of muscles, so either pain inhibition or having changes in its length tension properties, so it becomes an inefficient stabiliser muscle.  This tends to happen more commonly to the one joint rotary control stabiliser muscles.  The net result, though, of having this imbalance between muscles functioning or coordinating around a joint is that we get over-pull in one direction and under-pull in another direction so there is a net shift in the forces around the joint.

So we end up with compensatory hyper mobility in the direction of the muscles that generate excessive force, or the over pull muscles; we have a loss of movement in the direction, or away from, the inefficient muscles, so we end up with restrictions of motion – if you don’t use it you lose it eventually, and the consequence is we end up with having uncontrolled movement at a particular site, this is this ball and socket joint hip joint or shoulder joint for example; and in the direction of the arrow, that shows where the joint is being displaced.

The consequences of uncontrolled movement in this particular direction are that on one side of the joint you no longer have the joints centred so there is excessive impingement or compression on the articular structures within the joint; or on the other side of the joint the soft tissues, in particular the capsules and ligaments become strained and stretched, and they also become pain generating tissues.

So the end result then is that alternations in the muscle coordination and the net balance of forces between one-joint stabilisers that might become in efficient or multi joint mobilisers that become over-active is that we develop uncontrolled or compensatory movement in a particular direction in those joints that can create pain in more than one place in the joint; it can produce pain and injury stress on one side of the joint where it is impinged and on the other side of the joint where it is stretched and strained.

The Performance Matrix tests for uncontrolled movement, so the site and direction of uncontrolled movement can be identified and preventative action can be implemented.

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