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Unlocking Your Body’s Natural Shock Absorption System: The Benefits of Improving Your Relationship with the Ground

shock absorption

Are you looking for a simple and effective way to reduce pain and improve your body’s movement? Look no further than improving your relationship with the ground.

This may sound like a strange concept, but it’s a simple and effective way to optimize your body’s natural movement and reduce your chances of developing pain. By making just a few lifestyle changes, you can unlock and restrengthen your built-in shock absorption system, improve myofascial extensibility, and joint range of motion throughout your body.

shock absorption

When we stand, walk, run, jump, dance, or perform any activity that involves movement, there is a ground reaction force that travels up through our body in response to the weight of gravity and our bodyweight impacting the ground.

Our muscles, joints, ligaments, and fascia have to work in unison to absorb, dissipate, and react to these ground reaction forces to keep us upright, balanced, and capable of performing the task at hand.

When our body loses the ability to absorb and dissipate these ground reaction forces effectively, this is often when problems can arise.

One of the easiest and most direct ways to start the process of unlocking and restrengthening our built-in shock absorption system is to spend more time barefoot. When we spend time barefoot, we allow our feet to move like feet and conform to the different surfaces we may be moving on, maintaining or improving upon our foot pliability. The reflexive flattening of our forefoot and midfoot as we walk over it is the first step in unlocking our spiral line. The ability of our forefoot and midfoot to become a rigid lever to push off of is the job of the deep front line.

Moving up from our feet, we can collectively optimize myofascial extensibility and joint range of motion throughout the rest of our body by spending time in a variety of different floor sitting postures. Most of the compliant surfaces that we are all guilty of sitting on may be comfortable in the moment, but they do not take joints through their full range of motion like spending time on the floor in various positions would. We all spend time sitting in compliant surfaces, but we’d all benefit from spending more time on non-compliant surfaces like the floor.

Getting on and off of the floor in a variety of approaches, as well as spending more time barefoot, are easy ways to reawaken some of our body’s dormant, deep postural stabilizer systems that fight back at the constant weight of gravity and reciprocal ground reaction forces. The sensory receptors on the skin of our feet and throughout the joints, muscles, and fascia of our body, and the stimulation that they get when we improve our relationship with the ground, are the perfect mechanism to improve neuromuscular control.

If you’re experiencing pain or difficulty practicing some of these concepts, this may be a sign that your musculoskeletal system is moving suboptimally. However, with a little practice, the appropriate adjustments, and sometimes a little bit of help from a skilled physical therapist, these natural mechanisms can be restored.

At Rebalance Physical Therapy, we understand the importance of improving your relationship with the ground to optimize your body’s movement and reduce your chances of developing pain. Our team of skilled physical therapists can provide you with the guidance and support you need to achieve your goals. So, take the first step towards a healthier and pain-free life today by improving your relationship with the ground.

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