Tibial torsion - rotated legs
Well, after dealing with rebuilding the website, I thought I'd catch up on items not yet attended to.
One of my clients is a dancer and we got talking about orientation of the lower leg and how that can affect stance and gait (as well as other movement patterns). He said he had a great photo to share with me. Needless to say I was intrigued.
In Structural Integration (SI), we work to orient the bones properly by releasing restrictions in the soft tissue (think muscles and fascia - which is one type of connective tissue). I often see externally rotated tibias (the main lower leg bone which is the one more toward midline) where there is restriction/shortness in either the hamstrings or the IT band. In a rare case, I have seen it also with restricted/short lateral quads. Regardless, if the lower leg is rotated under the upper leg (i.e. the thigh) then one can easily see how the knee can get compromised. This motion (rotating the lower leg under the thigh) is part of the "turn-out" that ballet dancers do as part of their normal routines and exercises. The extremes to which ballet dancers go is just that... and can be see especially well in this photo from the Ukraine. Obviously it is an old photo (probably the 40's), but look at the young girl in front and see what her lower legs and feet are doing. Yikes!
Obviously the human form is capable of a lot, but sometimes I question the thought process behind extremes such as these.
Mark Pearlscott, LMP, BCSI, KMI