Updated: Jan 17
A lot of us have a tendency to aim for perfection, potentially to the detriment of our physical and mental health. As therapists we try to assist your body to be the best it can be, not perfect, no-one is perfect.
The human body is absolutely amazing, its dynamic mechanics and intricate systems allow us to not only survive, but triumph. It is astonishing when you think about it. However, we have some design flaws that make us vulnerable; shoulder pain, knee injuries and sinus congestion are some of those flaws.
I came across a piece on the ABC by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki the other day where he discusses aspects of the human body that could have been designed better. It reminded me of my time learning the anatomy of the shoulder and my teacher saying ‘Our creator must have been smoking pot the day he designed the shoulder’.
Our Design Flaws
The arm is a significant part of our bodies, we do a lot with our arms and it is reasonably heavy, hanging from the shoulder. Our arms connect to the torso via our clavicle and sternum, or collarbone and chest bone. The arm muscles; humerus, radius, ulna and scapula (shoulder blade) all connect to our clavicle and precariously hinge off the sternum. Our muscles have a huge responsibility supporting the weight of our arm, the Trapezius muscle connect from the base of our skull to our scapula and down our spine, while the Rhomboids connect the edge of the scapula to our spine. People often complain of a feeling of ‘tiredness’ in their shoulders, and scapula, it’s not surprising considering the weight they have to support.
The knee, as all too many of you are aware, could have also done with a little more time in
the design room. Dr Karl describes it as ‘two shallow soup bowls sliding over each other. They’re held together by gaffer tape [ligaments] on the left and the right, and the front and the back. And there’s even a bit of gaffer tape coming straight through the middle from the top to the bottom.’
In both the knee and shoulder however, we sacrifice stability for mobility. So there is logic in the madness, however the sinus cavity makes no sense…
The sinus, Dr Karl explains ‘is a cavity in the bone with just one single opening to the outside. [When we have] inflammation, gunk can build up inside one of the several sinuses. In an ideal world this gunk would drain out through the single opening, but in humans, the opening is near the top of the sinus, not the bottom. So the gunk just sits there and festers.’
Our nerve fibres for our eyes, are in-front of the retina, providing us with a very unhelpful blind spot where the optic nerve passes through the photoreceptor layer. The octopus however, has their nerve fibres behind the retina and therefore side steps this issue.
The point of all this information? So you can take comfort in the fact that no human is perfect, that is what makes us human and makes us individual. Also to inform you that if you feel some pain or tiredness in your joints it’s not unusual, but you should take note!
So look after your knees and shoulders and visit us in Sydney CBD, Bondi and Leichhardt for a massage when you’re feeling tired or strain through your joints.