Due to the on-going debilitating injury concerns present in high intensity competitive sports, it is the purpose of this commentary to postulate as to one of the possible causes, especially as it relates to the continuing instances of the so-called "innocuous" ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) rupture in the human knee.
As we all know, the human body exists in a three dimensional world. Consequently, for it to perform at peak efficiency, it, and indeed the key joint structures in the body responsible for getting from point A to point B must be appropriately adapted to move within this environment using three functional planes of motion.
a) The Sagittal plane, where the body/joint structures move forward or back. As seen in stepping forward and backward, and through flexion and extension.
b) The Frontal plane, where the body/joint structures move from side to side. As in stepping to the left and right, and through abduction and adduction.
c) The Transverse plane, where the body/joint structures move through rotation. Seen when the trunk twists left or right, and through internal or external rotation/pronation or supination of the legs/feet.
In principle, the ability of the body to move through tri-planar directions is reflected in the individual joint structures, where this same inherent freedom exists. However, as these multi-directional joint movements are not all prone to full ranges of motion, this natural mobility can be viewed as a means for the body to absorb incidentally occurring functional impacts/forces to better protect the individual joints against structural damage. An example of this principle is seen in the knee, a structure which is best equipped to full ranges of motion only in the sagittal plane, up to, but NOT including hyperextension. While within exacting restrictions it is able to move laterally and medially in the frontal plane, it is able to function this way so it may better absorb impacts/forces produced through walking or running, when there is need to pivot, and/or when expected/spontaneous changes in direction need to be accommodated. True frontal plane adduction and abduction in the legs originates only at the hips, while the knee is not functionally structured to allow loaded movement in the transverse plane.
The aptitude the joint structures of the body have to accept impacts/forces using a tri-planar "damping" system can be likened to the rationale behind the crumple zone built into modern vehicles. They are similarly designed to mitigate impacts, initially as a preventative mechanism, but failing this, to at least minimise damage to key components. Subsequently an approach lending itself perfectly to the goals of Bodii training, which set out to strengthen the engagement and activation principles of the vital inclusions, and to specifically enhance the integrity of the joint structures in biomechanical, physiological and proprioceptive senses.
Within the physiology of movement, the human body has an innate awareness of its muscles and tendons, their positions, and the space into which it is about to move and occupy. A feature to human movement that is relative to many considerations, but is principally the reason why we are able to move about without having to constantly look at our arms or legs to make sure they are doing what we want them to be doing. An instinct/sense known as proprioception, and for these express objectives, Bodii training has the capacity to introduce forces to enhance lateral and medial proprioceptive responses. Responses not available in the one-dimensional straight ahead, straight back and supported traditional methods.
It is possible, with application of specific Bodii concepts and techniques, to impose lateral and medial frontal plane forces upon individual structures while they are engaged in sagittal/transverse plane movements, and conversely, during frontal/transverse plane movements, to produce anterior and posterior sagittal plane forces. A training formula allowing participants to expand proprioceptive diversity, not only enhancing the body's adaptation to daily functional activities, but in particular context to this program, to better direct these proprioceptive enhancements towards the greatly more intense and unpredictable nature of competitive sports.
In light of the above background argument, it remains unclear to this commentator why sports scientists, sports physiotherapists and sports trainers continue to apply methods designed to prevent/limit injuries to crucial structures, when this process interrupts the inherent shock/impact absorption system in the "mitigation sequence" of these structures. While, for example, strapped ankles may protect this susceptible region, the laws of energy predict that the force/impact must proceed and be dealt with at the next available and unprotected structure in this volatile progression, namely the knees. Structures where even an innocuous force originating from a remote structural location may have drastic long-term injury consequences. Unfortunately, the practice of strapping key structures may in principle have it’s benefits, the real question is at what possible cost? Is it preferable to risk impacting the tendons/ligaments of the ankles, an estimated six to eight week convalescence, or blow the ACL, an extensive and frustrating rehab of twelve months? Frustrating, in that the apparent innocuousness, is rarely, if ever, explained.
We should always strap. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I hear a lot of accidents prevented by being obsessed about this. We are only human and our bodies are not made of titanium. One wrong move and we could lose our ability to walk or even stand up. We need to protect our bodies at all costs. We will never know when an accident is going to happen. Don't be too relaxed and never lose guard of your abilities. We should be responsible with accident prevention.
Thank-you for your comment re my blog on athletes and the common practice of strapping as a means to injury prevention/minimisation. Unfortunately, and with all due resect, your comment has missed the point. Firstly, even if we were made of titanium, to enable movement, we would still need joints. It is therefore the joints that are the weak spots and the point at which injuries are still most likely to occur. Secondly, your comment is based on conventional theory, it is something that originated in a by-gone era, and it is necessary to view it with a modern understanding of sport preparation principles. Strapping may in fact interfere with the bodies inherent shock absorption capacities. In other words, if the ankle is strapped, the energy/force/impact must be absorbed and dealt with at the next available and unsupported structure, namely the knee/s. The intention of this blog was to offer a possible explanation for the innocuous ACL rupture suffered in many sports.
14/8/2018 12:23:45 pm
Of course we should always stap. It's a standard operating procedure. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I would love to be in a position where safety is the first priority. You can tell if your trainor is a professional if he always insist you strap. He knew the possible dangers of not doing this. You are lucky if you are always reminded to do the right things. Again, most of us tend to be lazy and unaware of the dangers involved. It's always best to listen to expert opinion than keep on doing things our own way never realizing all the dangers about to arise.
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