What is the Kinetic Chain?

What is the Kinetic Chain?

What is the Kinetic Chain?

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It sounds like a new kind of line dance, but unfortunately it is not that exciting. I am sure you have heard the song “The foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone…” Well, that pretty much sums up the kinetic chain. Thanks for reading.

Well, I wish it was that simple. The basis behind the kinetic chain is that everything in the body is connected. This is accomplished through an elaborate array of muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and fascia (connective tissue). Believe it or not, everything is connected together to keep the body in balance. This is noticed most often in sports related injuries. For example, a pitcher may complain of elbow or shoulder pain, but the problem may actually stem from weak hip muscles. You see when a pitcher throws a ball, he or she uses their entire body to generate the force for the pitch (especially during the ‘windup’ and ‘cocking’ phases of throwing). If, however, the hip muscles are weak a few things may happen. First, the body will be unstable standing on one leg and unable to completely generate full force during the windup and cocking phases. Second, during the throwing phase momentum will be lost due to an ‘unstable’ pelvis. Finally, the pitcher will have to compensate for a weaker pitch by ‘throwing harder’ from the upper body, hence placing more stress on the shoulder and elbow. Make sense, or at least sort of?

Sports injuries are not the only place where the kinetic chain comes into play. Simple back pain is a great example. Sometimes low back pain is actually being caused by knee arthritis. With knee arthritis, your body will alter the normal mechanics of walking to offload some weight and stress from the painful knee. This leads to various changes in your walking pattern, such as limping. These changes will result abnormal movement of the pelvis and lumbar spine. If this occurs for a prolonged period of time and/or in the setting of underlying lumbar degeneration, low back pain can occur….but the actual cause is the knee.

While you may not believe that a butterfly flapping its wings in California can change the weather in China, hopefully you can begin to understand the concept of how an injury in one location of the body may actually manifest as dysfunction in a remote part of the body. This is another reason why sometimes making a diagnosis or developing a treatment plan can be especially challenging.

Citations

  • Moezy A, Sepehrifar S, Solaymani Dodaran M. The effects of scapular stabilization based exercise therapy on pain, posture, flexibility and shoulder mobility in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome: a controlled randomized clinical trial. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2014;28:87. PubMed PMID: 25664288

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Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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