View Full Version : PP132: Spinal Stability Paradox

05-21-2002, 08:32 AM

".........Is the current emphasis on local system deficiencies really
justified as a cause and not a symptom of spinal pain and disability--
or are global compensatory mechanisms........"

I would like to offer that poor coordination of the pelvis, thorax and
spine by the long trunk muscles (anterior and posterior) and CNS control
(body scheme/ internal representation of skeletal geometry) may result
in over use at one point along the spine leading to excessive primary
and accessory motion at one or several segments. Eventually such demand
at one segment may lead to instability at that level.

The local system is being made to do more work by poor global use.

The local system is not at fault and can be "stabilized" by improved
global functioning to ensure an optimal spread of load along the length
of the spine. (And not just stiffening the local area by local
stabilizing exercises).

A simple graphic representation (admittedly without any mathematical
base or evidence) can be found at:


The example links cervical stability/strain to trunk mobility, trunk
control and neck-trunk coordination. The head sits on the whole thing
(24 vertebrae) not just the neck.
I always thought there must be a way to model this global interaction to
demonstrate/determine minimum and maximum points of strain with
variations in mechanical interactions between pelivs, thorax, spine...


robert burgess

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