In the pursuit of optimal health and fitness, the Joint by Joint approach has emerged as a groundbreaking paradigm, emphasizing the delicate balance between mobility and stability in the human body. Axon Integrative Health in Denver recognizes the profound impact of this approach on overall well-being and has integrated it into their holistic approach to healthcare. In this blog, we will explore the significance of mobility and stability, distinguish between flexibility and mobility, and shed light on the potential consequences of an imbalance between the two.
The Joint by Joint Approach: A Blueprint for Well-being
Developed by renowned strength and conditioning coach Gray Cook and physical therapist Mike Boyle, the Joint by Joint approach provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the alternating needs of joints in the body. The basic premise is simple yet transformative: certain joints require mobility, while others demand stability. By addressing these specific needs in a systematic manner, individuals can achieve a harmonious and efficient movement system. When this system is altered by a hypermobile “stability joint” (Hypermobile Shoulder) or a hypomobile “mobility joint” (Tight Thoracic Spine), it can have negative effects on the surrounding joints, causing low back pain, neck tightness, or knee pain.
Before delving into the Joint by Joint approach, it’s crucial to grasp the distinctions between flexibility and mobility. Flexibility refers to the passive range of motion (ROM) around a joint, often achieved through stretching. It is a static quality that may not translate into functional, dynamic movement. On the other hand, mobility represents the active and controlled range of motion. It involves not just the ability to reach a certain position but to move through it with strength and stability.
Axon Integrative Health recognizes that emphasizing flexibility alone may lead to a false sense of security. A person may be able to achieve impressive static stretches but struggle to perform the same movements dynamically, potentially setting the stage for injury. The greater difference of flexibility and mobility, the greater the risk of traumatic injury during sport and greater risk of chronic pain. True mobility, as emphasized in the Joint by Joint approach, combines flexibility with strength and control, ensuring that the body can move through its full range of motion efficiently and safely. If you can move into a position, you should be able to engage into and out of that position.
The Joint by Joint Approach in Action
Axon Integrative Health applies the Joint by Joint approach to assess and address the specific needs of each individual. For instance, the lumbar spine requires stability, while the hips demand mobility. Imbalances in these areas can lead to a cascade of issues, such as lower back pain or hip dysfunction. By identifying and correcting these imbalances through targeted exercises and interventions, Axon helps individuals optimize their movement patterns and reduce the risk of injury.
The Domino Effect: Movement Imbalances and Injury
When there is a significant discrepancy between flexibility and mobility, the risk of injury escalates. Consider a scenario where the hips lack the necessary mobility, forcing the lumbar spine to compensate by becoming excessively mobile. This compensatory mechanism sets the stage for chronic pain, injury, and dysfunction. Axon Integrative Health understands that addressing the root cause of these imbalances is crucial for long-term health and performance.
Empowering Individuals through Education
Beyond treatment and rehabilitation, Axon Integrative Health is committed to empowering individuals with knowledge. Clients are educated about their specific imbalances and provided with tools and exercises to enhance their mobility and stability independently. This proactive approach not only accelerates the healing process but also empowers individuals to take an active role in their well-being.
Axon utilizes the Joint by Joint approach to enhance mobility and stability, decrease pain, and optimize the performance for the athlete in all of us- picking up the grandkids, keeping up with the highschooler, outperforming your friends on the slopes, or signing your next professional contract. By recognizing the alternating needs of joints and addressing imbalances through targeted interventions, we are transforming lives. As we navigate the intricate dance between flexibility and mobility, let us embrace the wisdom of the Joint by Joint approach and embark on a journey towards a healthier, more mobile, and stable future.