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The problem with ‘mobility’ exercises…

August 26, 2014

The problem with prescribing general ‘mobility‘ drills is that they will accentuate articular dysfunction if independent articular motions are not present.

This concept is best conceptualized when considering spinal motion. For proper spinal motion to occur, we want movements to be distributed amongst the vertebral segments. For example, with forward flexion, we want to avoid having a single motion segment creating the entire movement as this will predispose the person to segmental buckling. Rather, we want the movement to be distributed across each articulation (however minimal the intersegmental motion is). In situations where sections of the spine are ‘blocked’ (ie. moving as a single stiff unit), general mobility drills will promote compensatory hyper mobility at the individual motion segment.

The Glenohumeral joint is another example where independent motion between the humerus and scapula must be present prior to assigning general mobility drills. When independent motion is lacking, mobility drills will promote compensatory Scapulothoracic hyper mobility (which can often lead to conditions such as subacromial impingement).


One Comment leave one →
  1. Annette Racaniello permalink
    August 27, 2014 2:37 am

    The forgotten joints cause more problems then the main joints. The problem is that any abnormal torque will not allow the rest of the body to have unfettered motion through all the fascial planes.

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