Joint Function and Strength
You may often hear from your physiotherapist that strength is critical to protect your joint. With this being true, strength is NOT the only element in the story. Joint function is just as important.
You have more than 600 skeletal muscles in your body. In order to generate smooth movements matching to the environment and demand of the movement task, you need to contract different muscles groups at the right time with the right amount to dynamically stabilise the joint. The thigh muscle coordination is a classic example.
The quadriceps (at the front) and the hamstrings (at the back) work to straighten and bend the knee, respectively. However, more critically, they are responsible to control the relative movement/position of the shin bone (tibia). The muscle pull from quadriceps can shift the shin bone forwards and the hamstrings can pull the shin bone backwards. When you are straighten you knee like during a soccer kick, your hamstrings are contracting and controlling the extent of forward shift of the shin bone while lengthening. Therefore the first step in rehabilitation from knee injuries is to train our nervous system to coordinate the quadriceps and hamstrings in addition to general strengthening in order to improve joint function.
So no matter you are recovering from a knee injury, or want to prevent an injury, below are some exercises you could add to your gym routine to improve physical function:
- Double-/single-leg Romanian deadlift
- Stability ball hamstring curls
- Nordics and reverse Nordics
You may have some questions surrounding joint function. If you do, please get in touch with Pivotal Motion’s Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiologist team today. Our team will be able to discuss with you in more depth on how we can help you. Book online or call us on 3352 5116.