- FR Lower Limb - Texas A&M University Medical staff private seminar Aug 4-7/14
- FR Lower Limb Cert - Toronto, Sept 19-21, 2014
- FRC Certification - New York @ Drive495 - Sept 27-28, 2014 ***SOLD OUT
- FR Upper Limb - Vancouver, BC, Oct 24-25, 2014
- FRC Certification - TORONTO @ Vaughan Strength & Conditioning - Nov 1-2, 2014
- FRC Certification - SEATTLE MARINERS & SAN DIEGO PADRES (MLB) Medical staff Private seminar Nov 12-13/14
- FRC Certification - ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (MLB) Medical staff Private seminar Nov 22-23/14
- FR Upper Limb Cert - New York @ PerfectStride Physical Therapy - PRIVATE COURSE - Jan 9-11/15
- FRC Certification - Portland, OR @ IMPACT - Jan 24-25, 2015
- FRC Certification - San Francisco, CA @ MoveSF - Feb 7-8, 2015
- FRC Certification - Vancouver, BC - Feb 21-22, 2015
- FR Upper Limb - Portland, OR, Mar 20-22, 2015
- FRC Certification - Connecticut @ Ranfone Training Systems - Mar 28-29, 2015
- FR Upper Limb - Chicago , Apr 17-19, 2015
- FR Lower Limb - London, England, May 2-4, 2015
- FR Upper Limb - Boston, MA, May 22-14, 2015
- FRC Certification - Dallas, TX @ Synergy Athletics - June 6-7, 2015
Seminar registration @ FunctionalAnatomySeminars.com
My interview with Justin Goodhart from WellRoundedAthlete.net for the Move Smart Podcast.
—– CLICK HERE —–
Good interviews start with good questions…and they asked a lot of good questions. We covered many topics related to health, training, and much more. We go deep on a few topics (cellular & sub cellular level)….but I think it necessary to at least have a working knowledge of this ‘realm’ in order to properly manage ones health.
I am writing this short message because I feel that you are owed an apology. For years you have come to us with your problems of lower back pain, sports injuries, weight loss issues, performance goals, etc., and for years you have likely been offered several different (and often conflicting) ‘solutions’ for your ‘problems.’ Each ‘solution’ offered was likely coupled with a claim that that person will ‘fix’ you the fastest….or that THEY have the fastest way or achieving YOUR goal for you. You may have heard or read claims of treatments that provide immediate cures, diets that ‘melt’ the pounds off effortlessly, assessments that ‘find’ out what your exact ‘problems’ are, or training strategies that immediately improve your performance. The problem is…they don’t exist.
The fact of the matter is that a general overview of all of the scientific evidence that has ever been published on human health strategies leads to one common conclusion:
Being a healthy human requires ongoing effort and dedication.
If you have an injury, that means that you have sustained a certain degree of tissue damage. Tissue, no matter the type, requires time to heal. Never, in the history of research has anyone been able to demonstrate a biological tissue responding in a permanent way to a single treatment input. There is no machine, technique, ointment, or pill that can change this fact. It is therefore unreasonable to expect a one-visit ‘cure,’ and it is equally unreasonable for someone to claim that they can provide it. What we can do is insure optimal healing over time which will work to regenerate healthy, resilient, good quality tissue…via ongoing effort and dedication.
If you are hoping to loose weight, diets don’t work (in any lasting way that is). It requires an increase in energy output, a reduction of energy input, and an ongoing diet of healthy, nutrient rich food. Of course there are exceptions and circumstances to take into account….but the solution for each of these requires an equal amount of the secret ingredient – ongoing effort and dedication.
How about the athlete looking to gain the edge on their competition? Well I have good news for you….there are indeed methods that can achieve that goal. The only stipulation is that YOU must approach said methods with ongoing effort and dedication.
Vitamins don’t work if taken only for a week here and there. Muscles don’t get stronger after a single training session. Torn ligaments/tendon/muscles can’t regenerate instantaneously. You can’t reap the rewards of meditation if you do it every now and again. New skills are unusable in absence of ongoing practice and repetition. These are the realities. These are the rules that govern human health and performance.
Don’t waste your time, money, and energy searching for ‘the solution’…I will give it to you right now…
Ongoing effort and dedication.
If you consider ‘a’ muscle to be a single unit that produces one specific function you are grossly underestimating the complexity of its structure.
A muscle is more than ‘a’ muscle as all of the units that make up the structure (myocytes) can themselves be considered ‘muscles’ in their own right, each producing the exact function independently as does the whole. Namely, they draw tension into the connective tissue elements which surround them. From this perspective, each individual sarcomere can also rightfully be thought of as an independent ‘muscle’ whose protein components interact on the molecular level to tension their endomysial encasements. Thus ‘a muscle’ is more accurately thought of as a general name given to a group several thousand functioning structures. Each of these structures produce slightly differing angles of pull and thus create differing angles of tension affecting movement production.
When we test for the strength of ‘a muscle’ this concept must be remembered…especially in lieu of the well established “specificity principle.” Based on this principle, a muscle can generate a good amount of force at a particular angle, but then fail to produce the same force when the testing angle is slightly altered (approx 15 degrees). Thus the angle of pull selected by the test cannot be used to make conclusions as to how the general ‘muscle’ is functioning. One can only conclude that the specific testing angle demonstrates weakness.
This concept must also be considered when considering the overall function of a muscle…if there actually is ‘one’ to speak of. Most of these assumed functions are based on the directionality of the muscle fibres when observed from a gross tissue perspective (I won’t add the complexity of penniform muscle here). However, when one contemplates function based on the 3-dimentional nature of the structure (taking into account differing lines of pull/tension), the complexity of the actuator (neural input), and the seemingly infinite angles of motion that can be created, one must stop and ask themselves if we have enough information, and/or mental capacity, to claim any advanced understanding.
“One of the most commonly seen features in human movement is motor variability. Several attempts at the same task ALWAYS lead to different patterns of performance, including kinematic, kinetics, and patterns of muscle activation.” (Latash 2002)
In other words, with consecutive attempts at solving a motor task, each rep involves unique, non-repetitive neural & motor patterns. Often referred to as “repetition without repetition.”
Movement is not a well defined plan. Its more chaotic than that.
Movement is an intent (or goal), carried out by an ongoing process of adapting to variables. The number of potential variables is far greater than we can account for via movement assessment/observation.
“The further humans stray from what they were naturally selected to do…the more their health suffers.”
An entire industry has been built on trying to treat and/or “prevent” foot pain and dysfunction in humans. We are constantly being told that our feet need ‘support,’ and our arches need to be ‘maintained.’ Products abound with promises of decreased pain and increased comfort (soft shoes, athletic shoes, orthotics, etc.). The problem is however that the ‘cures’ that are offered are to a large extent contributing to the cause.
It is thought that the evolution of Homo Sapien bipedalism began approximately 4.2 million years ago. In contrast, the first shoes are believed to have been used only 10 thousand years ago (by the most generous estimation). What does this fact tell us? From an evolutionary perspective, footwear was invented only a moment ago!
“Shoes were NOT part of the evolutionary process”
….TRAIN YOUR FEET!!
Tips, Facts, and Questions:
- Orthotics do not prevent your arch from ‘dropping’…no matter who made them, or what they are made out of
- If you have children, DO NOT allow them to wear shoes when it isn’t necessary (at home, playing in the yard, etc). The more the foot is challenged to function, the more it adapts to those challenges…and the better it functions.
- Encourage your kids to pick things up with their feet. This will build foot strength, dexterity, mobility, and function….all of which will contribute the longevity.
- Socks dampen the sensory feedback information that your foot is ‘collecting’ from the ground…this in turn will likely decrease the sensitivity of the feedback system over time.
- Did you ever wonder why if you have a knee, shoulder, or back problem, therapists manually treat the problem…and then assign exercises to improve the function of the body part….yet if you have a foot problem, many simply give you an orthotic (aka. a brace)? What would happen if we treated back pain this way?
- Having ‘dropped arches’ is not a diagnosis. Many of the worlds best functioning athletes have ‘dropped arches.’ Further, there are many, many examples of people with flat feet who never have foot pain or dysfunction. Static position of anatomy is much less important than how the anatomy moves.
- I have yet to see a plantar fasciitis patient in my clinic who had the ability to control toe/foot movement.
- There is a warranted fear in the manual medical community that wearing a back brace will lead to the muscles of the low back weakening over time due to disuse. Why do we think that the feet would not respond the same way to orthotics?
- Barefoot training is a PRIVILEGE …not a right. If you have been wearing supportive shoes all of your life, and then decide at 35 to just start wearing ‘barefoot’ shoes…you will get injured.
- If you are prescribed orthotics for a foot condition…your first goal should be to train your foot in order to get out of them asap.
Your feet are the first, and best functioning ‘shoes’ you will ever own….and if you care for them, they will last your entire life.
For those who haven’t seen it, here is the link to a youtube video that I posted a while ago that discusses this further and demonstrates some BASIC intrinsic foot activation strategies (this is by no means an extensive list of drills…it is just a starting point):
Here is a video of my good friend Dewey Nielsen demonstrating a slightly more advanced foot training drill: