The Three Types of Motion

Hi, I’m Doctor DeCubellis from Main Street Chiropractic. I wanted to come to you today because as we know everyone is that the shelter in place, we’re still here in Main Street Chiropractic if you do get injured or if you’re having some pain and need help. But also if you have something that needs to be looked at, that’s not quite it needs to go to the ER and we don’t need to inundate the doctors.We’re here to help give us a call (630) 435-6461. But what I also wanted to do is give you a little bit of some information that you can use at home during this time, if you do have something come up.

So the first thing we gotta understand is when we have an injury, the goal is that we always want it to heal and to make sure it heals properly as we want to restore the range of motion and normal motion of that segment.

So to understand that, first we have to acknowledge that we have three ranges of motion.

You have active. Now active is what you can do yourself. So that’s like bending your head side to side, like this you’re actively using your muscles to move.

Passive range of motion is the next one. Passive range of motion a little bit further than active. Now this is like a therapist can actually stretch you. So if we were to stretch you in your office, we could stretch you further than you can stretch yourself. That’s passive range of motion.

And then finally you have joint motion. Now joint is actually what the joint itself is moving inside your body that moves a little bit more.It’s not relying on the muscles either. So the goal is we need all three to get back to normal as quickly as possible. The reason this is important is that after we have an injury, we need to make sure which range of motion we need to work on first. So the biggest thing we don’t want to do, and this is where people get messed up and injured themselves worst. We do not want to start doing stretching when you hurt yourself. If you do stretching, we’ve already got an issue to where we’ve got inflammation, we’ve got scar tissue starting to form in the area. And by you stretching that injured tissue that’s not moving the right way, you’re just going to reaggravate and potentially spread that inflammation. So we don’t want to do that. But the first thing is we need to start trying to restore normal function, normal joint motion.

So what this means is that we started doing some active range of motion, but only up to the point of pain. Meaning that if we’re talking about a neck injury, okay, and we want to do side bending, but it hurts right here.Don’t go past this point. What you want to do then is you go up to this point, then we go to the other side and see, we can go. And we make sure that we keep track of those biomarkers. That’s how far you can go to right now. And then each day as you’re doing it, maybe we can go a little bit further, but we don’t want to force it because we don’t want to make this issue worse, but we also don’t want to cause a new injury on top of it, because the thing we have to remember at this point, your body’s bracing and it’s creating altered range of motion and altered movement patterns to try to get you to do what you need to do without being in pain.

So instead of going completely straight to the side, maybe when you force past that we start getting some rotation like this. Now we’re changing the movement. And again, we’re putting ourselves at risk. So we don’t want to do that. We’d rather do nothing than cause a new injury. So that’s the first thing you do. Just take yourself through the slight active range of motion up to where the pain point is and then you go back. Monitor how far you’re able to get. If there’s a way you can measure it, take a picture of yourself doing it, and then you can compare. Do it in front of the mirror. It’s real easy to keep track of that. And then each day what you do is just monitor and see how much improvement you’re getting.

Once we get to a normal, active range of motion, that’s when we can start doing some other stuff. But if you can’t move your neck normally this way, why would we go and pull and stretch and force it? Your body’s telling you that you can’t do it for a reason. And if you don’t listen to your body, we’re going to cause more issues. So if you get nothing else from this, the kind of goal is that you only do up to where it hurts and then you stop. That’s your body telling you can’t do anything more and don’t force it.

So again, I’m Doctor DeCubellis, Main Street Chiropractic. Any questions you can always give me a call (630) 435-6461. We’re here and I’d like to help you in any way we can.