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​Health is not simply the absence of illness.

What is the difference between a good player and great one? Most commonly, the better a player moves, the better they are at their game. As a continuance of the "tissue tolerance" theme discussed over the course of the last two weeks, this week I would like to discuss how a player's movements are assessed. This assessment can determine the trouble areas that will not only affect that player's risk for injury, but also that players ability to perform.

The following procedure is focused on determining what the athlete can and cannot do and is called the Biomechanical Blueprint Examination (BBE). The purpose of the BBE is to reveal your underlying structural imbalances. This evaluation begins at the foundation and works its way up. First, a 2D optical and 3D laser foot scan are performed to measure the integrity of the 6 arches that support your feet and make up the foundation of your entire body. A center of gravity scan is next performed to determine how your body disperses weight. Most of you rotate the tires on your car and have your wheels aligned so that the moving parts will wear evenly and you can get the most mileage out of your vehicle. Similarly, a properly balanced foundation is necessary to reduce the wear and tear on the moving parts in your body.

Range of motion and functional movement screens are performed to determine what you physically can and cannot do. This provides considerable information as to what tissues in your musculoskeletal system are at risk. Remember, the better you move, the better you will perform. Orthopedic testing is commonly used as well. X-ray evaluation is often useful in finding underlying structural abnormalities. It is better to find these imbalances sooner instead of waiting until they have become so advanced that they are producing symptoms. Our office is one of only two clinics in Northern Colorado with the technology to conduct a precise leg length analysis. Did you know that 3 out of 4 people have an anatomical difference in the length of the long bones that make up their legs?

It is important to understand is that this evaluation is not focused on presence of pain or symptoms. Believe it or not, injuries may be present; even in the absence of pain. As a matter of fact, Dorlands Medical Dictionary states: "Health is a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being; the popular idea that it is merely the absence of disease and infirmity is not complete." As a result, by definition, a symptom-based evaluation of a sports injury is not complete. Furthermore, just because the pain is gone, that does not mean that the problem is gone as well.

As always, the choice is yours. Will you choose to assume that you and your family are healthy simply because you are experiencing "the absence of disease and infirmity" or does Dorland's definition make sense? If it does, don't you want to function as best as you can for as long as you can? If so, maybe you should consider a biomechanical blueprint evaluation.