“The hip bone’s connected to the leg bone….”
The concept of the Kinetic Chain
If you’ve never heard of the term “Kinetic Chain”, you’re not alone. Most people don’t ever think too much about it. But, whether you’re aware of it or not, you utilize the concept every day of your life. Everything from a tennis serve or golf swing to things as “simple” as getting out of your car require a highly coordinated activation of body segments to be accomplished efficiently.
The concept of the Kinetic Chain is that during complex movements, the parts of the body act as a system of chain links, whereby energy or force generated by one link (or part of the body) can be transferred successively to the next link. Optimum coordination (timing) of these body segments and their movements will allow for the efficient transfer of energy and power up through the body, moving from one body segment to the next. Each movment in the sequence builds upon the previous motion. Looking at the lower ½ of the body, the foot, knee, hip, and even the low back act as links in the chain, which are totally dependent on one another for effective and efficient motion.
Take a simple motion like squatting for example; in order to squat down and maintain your balance, coordinated flexion (bending) must simultaneously occur in the ankles, knees and hips on both legs. If any one of these joints can’t move effectively, you immediately change the motion at one of the other segments. For example, limited mobility at the ankle, will alter movement and place increased demand on the knee joint. This exact scenario is often seen by Physical Therapists working with patients with knee pain. Now just imagine a motion as complicated as a golf swing or tennis serve, where you are moving nearly every joint in the body!
At Body in Balance Physical Therapy, one of the foundations of our treatment philosophy is to work on the re-training of these movement patterns to re-establish normal kinetic chain motions and forces, as this is a prerequisite for full restoration of pain-free function. If you have an injury or problem, remember we offer a free 15 minute injury consultation—please call to schedule at 369.7941.
Body in Balance Physical Therapy