The Hinge-Joint Analogy
Your musculoskeletal system is largley comprised of bones and muscles which are connected together with ligaments and tendons. Ligaments connect bones to bones (joints), while tendons connect muscles to bone. All of these strucures combine to give your body stable form and harmonious movement when working optimally.
During normal use, ligaments gradually stretch when under tension, then return to their original length when the tension is released, similar to how a rubberband or spring works. However, when they stretch too far or stretch for too long, they cannot return to their original shape and stay stretched-out or loose. This ligament laxity causes a joint to be unstable, weak, and puts all of the structures in the joint at risk of becoming damaged. This weakened or damaged tissue causes pain.
Nearly every chronic pain condition is due to joint instability caused by ligament injuries.
The Hinge-Joint Analogy
The purpose of a hinge on a cabinet door is to keep the door aligned in order to properly open and close. When one of the screws loosens, more force is placed on the remaining screws to hold the hinge onto the cabinet door (1). Eventually, the other screws loosen and the entire hinge becomes loose. This then exerts more pressure on the remaining hinges, which also eventually loosen (2). The cabinet door ultimately starts hitting the adjacent door and damage to both doors occurs.
The “treatment” to realign the door and stop ongoing damage is to tighten the loose screws with a screwdriver (3). Prolotherapy to the ligaments is akin to tightening the loose screws on the hinge. Simple as that! All of the attachments must be treated in order to stimulate them to heal (or tighten).
Why is joint stability so important?
Joint stability decreases the chances of joint degeneration and chronic pain symptoms. Ultimately, it also improves your chances to stay mobile and not become disabled due to chronic pain and osteoarthritis. Loss of mobility is no small matter—mobility and mortality are very closely linked! To be blunt, the sooner someone loses mobility, the risk of death in the near future greatly increases. But there is hope! Understanding and addressing joint instability has the potential to turn around many of these instances when mobility is lost due to joint pain!
Let’s take a closer look at the Joint-Hinge Analogy
Summary of the Joint-Hinge Analogy
Choosing the best solution (treatment) for the cabinet
Degenerative door cascade mimics the joint and spine deterioration processes