Does Fascia Matter? Part 2

by Ben Cormack |   Date Released : 13 Dec 2010
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Ben Cormack

About the author: Ben Cormack

Ben Cormack is a fellow of applied functional science having studied at the Gray institute under Gary Gray and David Tiberio.

He is located in London, UK, and has been involved with training and conditioning of numerous athletes, including title-winning professional boxers, triathletes and ultra endurance runners.

Ben has helped many people in chronic pain and also through the rehabilitation process from sports injury back to competition level.

Ben is a regular PTontheNet author. He has also recently started running a seminar series in the UK based on his training techniques, experiences and the science behind them.

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Comments (2)

Cormack, Ben | 03 Jan 2011, 09:27 AM

Hi Lesley. Great question! Many problems in the body can be a reaction to another issue.
A slumped kyphotic posture COULD be a result of dysfunctions in the body not related to that specific area. No matter how many retractions, and shortening of associated musculature, we perform of the scapulae if the body needs to utilize a lengthening of the muscles during function then it will!! During gait for example a lack of deceleration down the chain E.G ankles or hips may lead to a need for some deceleration up the chain or risk a severely compromised posture during motion. This may come from lengthening of the muscles of the upper back. In this scenario the pelvis may not be able to tilt and translate to the anterior creating relative spinal extension. This could be from both tight anterior or posterior musculature. Instead the superior spinal segment will flex with momentum and will need to be slowed to keep the cervical spine and head upright and create relative joint extension. Even if we were to have the strongest muscles and connective tissue imaginable they would not choose to resist helping in deceleration thus creating to some degree an upright posture in the upper back. The alternative would be a need for deceleration from the neck muscles closer to the primary driver of the head or no deceleration and risk the head flexing forward excessively.
Therefore in this scenario a focus on pelvic deceleration may have more impact on the upper back when we factor in these specific issues. It maybe that with another set of dysfunctions a focus on the upper back maybe a more valid strategy. During function however we rarely work symmetrically as we would do with a bilateral row. Most function incorporates rotation. This means that we will have both protraction and retraction occurring in the scapulae. Their ROM tied together in a superior ring. This must be factored into our training protocols.
A lack of understanding of root causes rather than symptoms when dealing with posture could be why we tend to have ineffective resolutions. If it were a simple as performing a few rows then the entire gym going population would not have any postural problems of this nature. We have to understand the body as a unit; one area will impact on another. A muscle may choose a different role during one functional activity compared to another and also when we factor in the ability of other muscles and connective tissue in the functional chain to perform their roles effectively. I hope this helps. Ben Cormack!!

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Wills, Lesley | 03 Jan 2011, 04:05 AM

Question. If I had, say, a client with a slumped appearance and I produced a program that basically helps strengthen the back and increases ROM in the front, would that all may be in vain if I haven't understood why the slumped appearance was there in the first place? It could have stemmed from childhood, say, now that client is 50yrs of age. Is there any hope, or if I do succeed in bringing the head back on top so it is less slumped, is it true that not working with the root cause may bring us back to square one (slumped again)? Or the reverse--that working on the client's posture could release the root cause if there was one? Great article, lots to think about.

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