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  • Dr. Alex Nickel

Movement Analysis and Structural Deviations: An Overview

Updated: Jan 24

Recently, Dr. Christine Foss, MD, DC, MDed,ATC, DACBSP, (CCSP) had authored an article in New Jersey Chiropractor, (Winter 2020 V.16 No.1) stressing the importance of movement patterns, structural deviations and how they should be addressed in practice. She primarily works with trained athletes where they have a high risk of injury is. She provides advice for her clients that improve their training techniques using kinesiology an in-depth motion pattern assessment to expand their treatment. At a recent seminar that I had attended with high focus on the lower extremity, it reminded me that I could help my nonathletic patients more in everyday practice to excel and i want to share some thoughts for your consideration.

Dr Foss reminds us that there are 2 standard deviations from a "normal" range of motion that would be considered normal in a growing child.


In the figure above where the thick black line is the ideal "normal ". The thinner lines above and below are the possible range of variations that are still in the range considered normal. Anything outside the lines is considered abnormal. When dealing with children and athletes, this is especially important when assessing injury risk. Although if you’re not a child or an athlete and never had these things analyzed as closely, it could mean they went unnoticed and may be contributing to problems you may be experiencing in your adult life.

In her article Dr Foss was working with a power lifter who was having right low back pain while lifting weights. Her examination revealed the lifter had a right sided femoral anteversion (inward twisting of the femur bone) which would stress his lumbar spine and distort his pelvic muscles during a lift. Keeping that information in mind and teaching him a minor form correction during training, he significantly reduced his back pain and displayed better muscle activation than in his pre-assesment.

Armed with this knowledge I've been able to apply this thought process to my normal patient care and regularly (sometimes much to my patient’s annoyance) and have had some excellent changes in abilities with my patients and their lower back and leg issues.

As a chiropractor, I always address subluxation first and after I help address some of the ways they can adapt their life activities to accommodate for their unique deviations. By making small tweaks to how we move throughout our daily lives may help resolve some of the issues we are having. They just need to be identified. Motion pattern is an effective tool in to measuring injury risk with athletes, so imagine the changed that could be made for the average person? It got refined my focus about how I can reduce the stresses on my own and that of my patients. It's a process each one of us should consider if they feel something should improve.


This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.

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