During our Anatomy Class last YTT weekend, we focused primarily on the Shoulders. Unlike the hip socket, the head of the humerus does not “lock” into place inside the bones of the shoulder joint.
Rather, the shoulder joint is primarily stabilized by a multitude of connective tissues.
Due to these unique characteristics, we have the potential for incredible range of motion with our arms. However, this also leaves the shoulder vulnerable to injury, since the joints’ stability depends on equal strength and flexibility of the surrounding connective tissues.
While I had some understanding of these anatomical facts, nonetheless, it helped to understand why shoulder injuries are so common and difficult to remedy. If the connective tissues are over-stretched, torn or severely damaged, they take time to heal. Most people have a difficult time allowing the shoulder to heal completely, because the use of the arm is so necessary to daily life.
From this anatomical baseline, we traveled into the realm of movement, posture and chronic issues faced by many people in society today, who are beholden to computers and cars. Our shoulders are perpetually rolling forward, shortening our Pectoralis Minor in the front, outer-edge of our chest. This piece of information triggered the desire to “fix” my shortened Pectoralis Minor – as if the mere lengthening of this muscle would cure all of the imbalances of my shoulder musculature.
Lisa’s presentations were more along the lines of Kinesiology, as opposed to Anatomy, since they were focused on the Anatomy of the human body and how that relates to movement. In all of her classes, I left with this urge to fix my body – fix my posture, fix my flexibility, fix my range of motion, fix all imbalances. As if it could happen overnight. My trainer told me that my Pec Minor can be fixed – I would just have to stop working at a computer and stop driving (!). Clearly, my expectations and desires of my body are unrealistic. More than anything else, I have realized that the Kinesiology education triggered some old habits – picking an aim of physical perfection, and feeling let-down when the result cannot be attained immediately. Just some more fodder for observation.