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The joint kinetic chain- understanding movement for riding performance

As a Graduate Sports Therapist specialising in sporting and movement performance one of the first thing we are taught is to get the body working we have to ensure the joints can move correctly. It is one thing you have to get right and is the base for all correct and performance movement what ever your sport or movement desires.

What is it?

Joint kinetic chain is the joint and joint segments ability to move to have an effect on another joint/joint segment. So in short one joint/segment moves it has an effect on the joint above and below it.

Why does it matter?

all of the joints have to work in unison with each other to allow us to move. The muscles pulls on the bone and allows that joint to move through a complex system so we can get movement and locomotion.

What can this cause issues in?

If your joint/ segment changes role then the joint above and below it will also change roles. If a joint which is meant to be mobile changes to stable it will make the joint above and below it swap roles too. If you look when stable joints (the knee, Lumbar, pelvis and c spine) change roles we get instability and joint irritation and pain... the most common joint pains people complain of are knee, lower back, sarcoilliac/scitatic and neck. This is normal due to dysfunction of a mobile joint that has upset the whole joint kinetic chain.

How can I fix this?

The bones are moved by the brain signalling via the Nervous system to the muscles asking

for a muscular contraction. We have to work on the muscles ability to move the joint (proprioception) and maintain this movement by continual use (use it or lose it). If a joint loses range either due to lack of use or injury we have to use our ability to open that joint manually either by joint re-education or help from a trained therapist. Once you have the joint moving you have to then have to relearn how to move this joint again (neuroplastcity).

If you need help either learning how to check, release or relearn joint movement get in touch.

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