How Joint Dysfunction Affects Joint Pain, Joint Mobility, and Joint Stability

According to Opedix, the makers of kinetic health gear, such as compression garments for runners and other athletes, movement training through joint support apparel can help correct joint alignment—one of the leading causes of joint dysfunction.

The human body was created to perform motions that allow an individual to move effortlessly and freely without pain and injury during physical activity.  This healthy movement can be disrupted if the kinetic chain becomes altered. The kinetic chain is what empowers a healthy motion and leads to correct movement.  This phrase refers to multiple mobile and stable joints working together in a coordinated manner to produce predictable movement patterns.

Joint Mobility and Joint Stability

Two movement patterns created by the kinetic chain include joint mobility and joint stability. Joint mobility refers to the range of motion a joint is able to produce, and is the angle that a joint can move from its anatomical position to a certain limit in a specific direction. Joint stability refers to how the sensory system helps the muscles to control and finely tune how the joints move within the available range of motion.

The motion of every link within the kinetic chain requires an optimal combination of both mobility and stability, and each kinetic chain link has a greater functional need for either more mobility or more stability.  An example can be explained through the knee and the shoulder. The knee requires more stability than the shoulder because in essence, it is at the mercy of the hip and ankle as these joints hold up and propel the weight of our body; whereas the shoulder requires more mobility in order to reach behind the back and overhead. The functional preference for either more mobility or more stability alternates between the joints from head to toe. This is known as the kinetic chain and disruption of the function of one joint as it transfers forces in the sequence below, or in reverse sequence, can cause clinical problems in neighboring joints above or below; a kinetic chain effect named regional interdependence.

  • Foot to Ankle
  • Ankle to Knee
  • Knee to Hip
  • Hip to Low Back
  • Low Back to Upper Back
  • Upper Back to Scapula
  • Scapula to Shoulder

Disruption Equals Dysfunction

Joint dysfunction occurs when these patterns do not work as they should. This is a condition that leads to joint pain, stiffness, and joint weakness. It’s most often caused due to joint overload and overuse, as well as muscular fatigue and other biomechanical problems. Mobility and stability are both affected when joint dysfunction occurs. Joint dysfunction also causes predictable movement compensation.  For one, it leads to an unnatural joint mobility, which produces changes in the freedom of joint motion. The biggest culprit is muscle stiffness and the result is almost always some form of incorrect joint alignment. Joint dysfunction also leads to unnatural joint stability which results from the improper alignment, balance, timing, muscle coordination, and muscular weakness.

Prevention Key

Numerous studies released by Opedix corroborates the idea that kinetic health compression garments can decrease the symptoms associated with joint dysfunction and act as a preventative measure towards joint alignment.  This is a key to improve joint pain.

According to Michael Decker, Biomechanical Engineer for Opedix, “Form fitting tensioning systems worn by athletes (such as compression garments for runners) are one of the biggest preventative measures an athlete can do to protect the joints of his or her body. They help the muscles to appropriately stabilize the joints which reduce the compressive loading put on the joints, and over time, allow athletes to perform their activities using proper joint function and alignment.  When these components are in place and allow the joints in the body to work as they should, endurance activities, athletic speed and quickness, strength, joint stress distribution, and recovery outcomes are all improved. It has been proven to improve joint pain.”

This improvement leads to movement efficiency which greatly impacts endurance, speed, power, and recovery. For athletes, this could make or break a finish in their prospective sport because every millisecond counts.

While medical experts agree that a consistent strengthening and condition program is essential to kinetic health in athletes, integrating kinetic health gear and joint support sportswear into an individual’s everyday training and competition, can help decrease knee pain and prevent injuries.


Opedix Kinetic Health knee support tights, joint support apparel, and athletic compression gear enhances bodily motion and offers support and comfort to athletes while employing some of the same principles of traditional un-loader knee-bracing systems.  To learn more about joint injury prevention and how to improve kinetic health for joint pain relief, please visit



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