Think about a bicycle wheel for a moment. The center of the wheel is called the hub. It is the place where all of the wheel’s spokes come together and meet. The Hub’s position is dictated by the tension in the spokes. If all of the spokes have an equal amount of tension then the hub is in it’s ideal central position, the wheel is a perfect circle, and the ride is as smooth as can be. What if there were a spoke or two that had more tension than the others? That greater amount of tension would affect all of the other spokes as they would be pulled more than normal. This, in turn, would shift the Hub’s position out of it’s ideal place. Even if it were just a hint of change, the entire wheel shape would change. This would make the bike ride a bit more bumpy and increase the wear on the entire bicycle. If the rider would “true up” the spokes and return them all to an equal balance of tension the wheel’s perfect circle would be restored, and the ride would be smooth once more.
The muscles which surround our hips and pelvis are very much like the spokes of the wheel. If there is a balance of tension top to bottom, left to right, and side to side, the position of the pelvis and all surrounding joints would be in their respective centers. The way in which a person moved would require the least amount of effort, stress, and wear-n-tear. The body’s hub (center of mass and origin of motion) should ideally sit an inch or two in front of the disc between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. When the spokes are not balanced (due to adapting to sedentary environments, previous injuries, or surgeries and scarring) the hub is pulled askew. It is no wonder why so many people suffer from low back pain (most common at the L4/L5 or L5/S1 area of the spine).
Whether it is the way in which the joints organize patterns of movement or muscles acting in a compensatory fashion is debatable and ultimately doesn’t matter. The goal for pain elimination is to direct the body back to a more central point. The closer the body gets to “truing up” it’s spokes the more optimally it will function and the more likely existing pain will disappear.
What shape is your wheel and where is your hub? Stand quietly for a moment and see if you can discern where the pressure resides in your feet. Is it a little more on one foot than the other? Is it toward the forefoot or heels? Inside sole or outside? No one in this society will have perfect, even pressure but that is not the point. The point is to endeavor to bring the body toward a more centered place. If you are in pain and want to get out of it, perhaps you would benefit from the upcoming Pain Elimination course Rocky will be leading Tuesday nights at 5 pm. It is limited to only six people, and it is half filled. Give a call or ask about it the next time you’re in the studio. You do not have to live in pain!