Rolling patterns and their use in body assessment.
First a brief review from yesterday where we talked about the stabilizing function of the diaphragm possibly being an etiological factor in spinal disorders. Yesterday we included a link to an abstract by the great Dr. P. Kolar. It considered the correlation between the dynamics of the diaphragm in posture and chronic spinal disorders. In review of that paper what they found seemed to indicate that poor diaphragm positioning, posturing and control correlated well in their sampling of chronic low back pain clients. The study found smaller diaphragm movements and a higher diaphragm positioning/posturing. The study found maximum changes in the rib (costal) intervals and middle areas of the diaphragm which asks one to consider the absolute critical importance of thoracic mobility. Extension, lateral flexion and rotation are frequently reduced in chronic back pain clients but we find it rampant in many clients and athletes. We also find and encourage you to look for, assess, and normalize your clients abdominal oblique, transverse abdominus and rectus abdominus control. Failure to properly and adequately anchor the lower rib cage to the pelvis via the abdominal wall (the whole wall, circumferentially around the entire torso to the spine) will result in asymmetrical breathing patterns. And abnormal breathing patterns lead to abnormal spine motion and mobility.
Yesterday we spoke about the need to assess, and if necessary treat, anything that impairs the diaphragm, breathing patterns, thoracic spine mobility and rib cage movement and flexibility. Rolling patterns as seen above, and here is the Rolling Pattern for Upper Body Drivers (link), are helpful in determining some loss of coordination of the upper or lower body drivers, impaired thoracic spine mobility as well as loss of symmetrical abdominal skill and strength. Remember, impairment of a primitive movement pattern like rolling is important to be aware of. The last thing you want to do is drive your training or treatments therapies and rehab efforts into an asymmetrical pattern. These rolling patterns are first developed as a child to learn to turn over. It is a precursor to pressing up the torso like in a push up, which is of course a precursor to crawling, then cruising and then walking.
Just like yesterday, we come full circle ! From breathing and the diaphragm to rolling and gait…… it is all connected. Any faulty strategy or pattern driven into the body, even breathing, can impair gait. And remember, because with gait we have to attach anti-phasic arm swinging with leg swinging. Anything that disturbs this anti-phasic patterning, such as low back pain or loss of thoracic mobility, will drive contralateral arm-leg swing to phasic patterning.
These are nice, simple assessments. Hope you enjoyed another window into what we do every day when dealing with athletes, patients and runners. It is all a part of restoring the symmetrical function to a body.
Shawn and Ivo ……. Rock and Rollers.