Movement Pattern Evaluation Series: Rotation

What is it? 

There is some element of rotation or counter-rotation in all movement patterns including gait. The spinal engine theory by Serge Gracovetsky explains how the spine and the pelvis produce axial (spinal) rotation to convert torque (rotational power) into forward movement—suggesting that the limb movements are secondary to spinal movement. This video exemplifies this concept perfectly. Counter-rotation is the ability to stabilize against rotational forces and is arguably a pre-requisite pattern to rotation.

Why is it important to assess? 

In light of Gracovetsky’s theory, rotation is essential to all movement. If there is a limitation in rotation, movement compensations will occur and cause abnormal wear and tear, eventually leading to injury. 

Kinesics recommends assessing the axial skeleton, which includes the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spine. Each region has an optimal biomechanical position to dissipate forces safely and  an ideal range of motion to produce force for stabilization and movement. 

How do you assess it?

*If an implement is used to challenge anti-rotation and rotational patterns, we suggest assessing the following: 

Download this Rotation Pattern Template to help you assess clients.

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Niki Driscoll