Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Have you heard of Modern Society Developmental Disorders (MSDD)?

While preparing for a couple of presentations at a conference I am speaking at on Friday, I came across a very interesting topic on the premature development of children.

It is a topic that I had learned a little bit about doing my Functional Movement Screening certification, and now that I have a baby boy at home, it is a topic that is becoming more and more interesting (an relevant) to me.

In his book Form and Function - the anatomy of motion: 2nd edition, Evan Osar, a Chiropractic Physician, coined the phrase Modern Society Developmental Disorders (MSDD) to describe "those common place items in our society that go against the inborn or natural tendencies of our bodies."

Simply stated, in the our modern world, there is more often than not a need for both parents to be working, or at least multi-tasking. As a result, children tend to spend an increased amount of time in child support apparatus such as strollers, high chairs, play pens and portable carriages.

He explains that habitual placing of children in this upright position inhibits the development of the cervical musculature (neck) and the vestibular apparatus (of the ear) from optimal development.

The result is that children and adolescents struggle to maintain proper posture thanks to under-development of stabilizer muscles and over compensation by prime mover muscle groups.

This cycle is exacerbated by our societies need to encourage children to progress faster than their bodies are capable of safely progressing. Reasons include parents wanting their child to be "advanced" for their age, or, so they do not have to pick them up as frequently.

This acceleration of natural progression goes against the normal progression cycle a child should move through:
  • lifting their heads
  • rolling over
  • sitting upright
  • crawling
  • pulling themselves up
  • balancing
  • walking
  • running
Altering this progression impacts on bio-motor development and results in an increased stress on articular surfaces at the joints, especially at the hips and lower backs (implications as we get older: back pain, hip replacements).

Furthermore, movement patterning is not fully realized.

An example is crawling and how it is an extremely important part of development and the maximization of an infants neural cross wiring.

Research has demonstrated that children who did not learn to crawl often lack basic coordination and motor skills.

During studies, when exercises similar in nature to the cross pattern motion of crawling were introduced to children, they showed marked improvements in the following areas:
  • stamina
  • coordination
  • hearing
  • vision
  • breathing
  • writing
  • concentration
  • comprehension skills
The conclusion: crawl patterning is vital in the enhancement of neurological development and the integrated functioning of both hemispheres of the brain.

The bottom line, not only is the proper developmental progression of a child vital to their current health but plays an enormous part in their future health and wellness.

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