”Our Bodies Are Not Magical, They’re Biomechanical ” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Always seek advice from a medical professional.
With something so complex and beautiful as the human body, there’s a right way and a wrong way for everything. Sport scientists dedicate their lives to learning about the wrong ways, and trying to see if they can develop new right ways to improve biomechanical performance.
Our bodies are not magical, they’re biomechanical.
The key word is ‘mechanical’. We have intricate systems that work side by side with each other. Nerves, ligaments, bones, cartilage, muscles, tendons and skin all need each other to function. If one of them doesn’t do its job or is forced into not being able to do so, the whole deck of cards comes crashing down. So, knowing what the right way and the wrong way is to move your body is key to not just getting stronger but maintaining your physical health.
Bending the wrong way
Our joints are actually incredibly advanced. We have limbs that arguably have some of the best rotational degrees, i.e. range of movement, in the animal kingdom. Yet clearly, there is a right way to rotate and a wrong way. Hyperextension is when our joints bend too far the wrong way. Knees are particularly susceptible to being pushed too far.
We’re also much more conscious about our upper body as we use it more in our daily lives. Essentially, the ball of the joint can get pushed out of the socket, ripping the tendons and displacing cartilage. Football players and other heavy contact sports often have this kind of injury to varying degrees based on the incidents. If you have suffered from knee hyperextension, remember to immediately put ice on it to bring new hot blood to the area. Stabilize the knee with bandages and a splint to limit mobility. Elevate the knee to take the pressure of it and rest it by using crutches if it’s really painful.
The shoulder’s Achilles heel
Perhaps the most amazing joint in all the human anatomy is the shoulder. This is an incredibly versatile, strong and flexible part of our body. We use it all the time, and yet our arms get all the praise.
However, the shoulders too have a limiting factor which is the lack of lateral movement. When you raise your arms from your sides keeping your palms facing down, you can feel the range of movement is not as good as when we lift our arm straight up in front of us. The rotator cuff sits on the outer part of our shoulder. Any sudden or sharp rotating of our shoulder in a lateral movement can cause tearing. If you feel a sharp needle pain in your upper exterior shoulder, then you might need rotator cuff surgery to repair the damage. The tendons that attach on the outside are usually where the pressure gives way and causes sudden pain. Professional surgeons will examine the injured joint and try to operate on it without disjointing the patient for maximum recovery potential.
Our bodies are far more flexible and unique than most other creatures. But with hyperextension and lack of lateral movement, our joints remind us that our bodies are not magical but biomechanical. It is important to remember to take good care of your joints and always see your doctor if you sense a problem.