Have you ever walked across a bridge made from wooden planks and rope? I can assure you it is an unsettling experience. It bows and swings requiring steady steps and measured pace to traverse without incident to you or anyone ahead or behind you. The amount of muscle tension you recruit is immeasurably more than you would use walking across a concrete bridge.
In our body, the wooden planks represent the dense bones and the ropes are the connective tissues. No one would expect that bridge to withstand the weight of a car or truck or even too many people at one time before the “connective tissues,” the ropes somewhere along the way, would yield. And, if they did withstand a load for a while, eventually they would yield as the seasons pass and they age.
Historically, training in kinesiology, the study of movement, held that the prime movers in human locomotion were bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This flawed concept, also assumed that each person possessed fully functioning bones, muscles tendons and ligaments. Not so.
In the past four decades an ever-increasing body of science is confirming the tremendous role fascia plays not only in locomotion, but life. I often refer to fascia as “Saran Wrap” that envelops EVERYTHING in the body. Participation on a team of researchers doing fascia dissecting on fresh cadavers, proved this to me. From the layers immediately beneath our skin to that wrapping all our internal organs down to the brain and spinal cord. Every bone is wrapped in fascia. Every muscle is wrapped in fascia and, that fascia links one muscles to the next, literally connecting the bottom of the foot to the eyebrow.
Inherent in all these connective tissues is a protein called collagen. Collagen is the ESSENTIAL ingredient required to develop and sustain ALL connective tissues. Think of it as water for fish or the egg for the cake. Each human has a genetic code or blueprint directing the constant replenishment of collagen for each specific tissue. Genes are not self-determinant i.e. just because you have a gene doesn’t mean it will automatically express itself, for collagen or cancer. Genes are influenced by their environment. The science of epi-genetics confirms some genes can be turned on or turned off by our internal environment.
People with multiple genetic disorders cannot make collagen and consequently never stand or move normally. The most severe cases of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome are wheelchair bound. Luckily, there are many categories of connective tissue disorders that allow people to live essentially normal lives, but not without compromise and the development of pain.
In my clinical experience, people living with excess or hyper mobility are conducting fairly normal lives and often see little association between their “condition” and their neuro-musculo-skeletal pain patterns. To make matters MUCH worse, many primary care medical physicians, specialist in orthopedics and neurology, physical therapist and chiropractors dismiss or discount this physical finding as an untreatable. I have not found this to be the case.
Science has established specific nutrients essential for collagen replication: Biotics Research CorpChondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine, Manganese, Zinc and Vitamin C.
Perceptible change is often recognized within days to weeks not months. The person typically describes a “tightening” in their joints. Some say they can no longer “pop their joints.” People with this condition have to continue taking the nutritional regimen. Comorbidities vary from person to person but nearly all have them.
While the chemical imbalances are being addressed, we often use a safe and effective, inexpensive temporary modality, inesio Tape. This elastic tape serves as a limiting factor in knee/elbow hyper extension, hip capsule strain sprain and erector spinae tone in the upper thoracic spine as well as the core.
Without exception we use Aetrex orthotics to the exclusion of all others due to their ankle “posting” design. The Aetrex orthotics support the ankle joint, thereby improving/preserving the integrity of the medial arch and mitigating elongation of the plantar fascia.
If you or someone you know is living with joint hypermobility, please contact our office to arrange a consultation and evaluation. 502-897-5181