“Move well. Eat well. Live well.”

That’s a phrase that I’ve been using for years in health classes that I lead. For me, quality of life is the “big picture” concept that I try to help improve in the people I see at the office. And that first part—the “Move” part—is the most important. 

Of course, as a chiropractor, I’m mainly talking about chiropractic adjustments. Restoring motion to the joints and muscles of the body through adjustments has profound benefits on pain levels and overall health. But when it comes to “moving” it isn’t just about adjustments. It’s about making your body move more efficiently, on a “biomechanical” level.

A biomechanical chain—sometimes called the “kinematic chain” or “kinetic chain”—is a simple idea about a complex system. You already know that the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone is connected to the leg bone, the leg bone is connected to the ankle bone, and the ankle bone is connected to the foot bone. Someone could even write a song about this—I know, they already have. This interconnectedness is the basis of how our bodies work, and it’s about more than merely the bones that make up our skeleton. This biomechanical chain includes our muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, glands, nerves and much more.

The important thing to understand about the biomechanical chain is that if one link is broken, it will likely affect others in an adverse manner. The human body is brilliantly designed to compensate for these types of problems, but this compensation usually comes with a price as other parts of the body absorb additional or unusual stresses. For example, structural weakness, misalignment or asymmetries in the feet can trigger changes further up the body, particularly in the ankles, knees, hips, back and neck. In fact, nearly everyone that I see at the office with a low back pain also has problems with one or both of their feet! In addition, almost all neck pain issues originate in the upper back and shoulders.

There is a similar cause-and-effect relationship that can begin with just a single misaligned vertebra in the back. Resulting pain may cause the person to favor one leg over the other while walking, resulting in further distortion of the posture and greater misalignment, resulting in even more problems and pain.

The study of mechanics concerns itself with how matter reacts to forces, which can involve pressure and/or motion. We see this when someone uses a simple lever and fulcrum to lift a heavy object. Biomechanics merely takes these same simple principles and applies them to the body. The field of biomechanics includes both static (body at rest and in balance) and dynamic (body in motion) aspects.

By studying the structure of the body and the forces involved in staying at rest or being in motion, health care professionals can better understand sources of injury and teach improved ways to perform repetitive or even competitive actions. Greater understanding of the biomechanical chain can help improve sports performance, functional training, and strength and conditioning. It also can help with injury management, rehabilitation, and even injury prevention.

Poor biomechanics can lead to a range of musculoskeletal problems. When the body must overcompensate for poor biomechanics, it has to work harder to produce the same effect. This leads to greater fatigue and pain. Even something as simple and seemingly low-stress as sitting at a computer desk can result in tension, stiffness, and possible spasms in one or both arms, for example. 

In addition to spotting structural problems in the biomechanical chain and providing adjustments, there are additional approaches for treatment. You also must do some work on your own in the form of exercise and stretching. And to help you in this regard, Giebler Chiropractic is excited to welcome Stephanie Eckardt to our team!

She comes to the office with eight years experience in exercise rehabilitation. She looks forward to teaching the tools you need to feel better for longer. A Kiel native, Stephanie has already enhanced the care of people at our office and we are excited to help more. She graduated in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a degree in Exercise Science and has been working in a chiropractic office ever since. She also is a volunteer with the Kiel track team and has been an athlete all her life. She enjoys golfing, camping with her husband, Adam, and 2-year-old, T. J. (Full disclosure—I prefer “real” camping in a tent, but the Eckardts prefer an RV...but that’s my only disagreement thus far.)

I’ll be honest, I feel truly blessed to welcome her in and work with and learn from her, and you will too.

Let’s get going on your biomechanics. Let’s find the muscles and joints that aren’t moving enough and get them moving. Let’s find the spots that are too weak, or too tight, and let’s strengthen them and loosen them up.

We only get one chance at life, and we only get this one body. Let’s take care of it!

Welcome to Giebler Chiropractic, Stephanie!