Taking the C out of CAPS
Written by Cheri Dotterer
Motor control has several components. It begins in the brain. After all sensory information is synthesized. The brain issues a movement, behavior, thought, and emotional response. The neural synthesis of motor movement relayed through the basal ganglia, limbic system, and brainstem. The neural pathways transmitted to every receptor throughout the body. Writing begins with the core strength within the torso and branches through all limbs and the head. If the torso is not getting proper neural feedback, the muscles cannot do their job.
Without proper neural synthesis, control doesn’t exist. Many factors can interfere with the neural relay system.
How muscles respond to the neural stimulus is the second component of motor control. Once the message is sent to every muscle, the muscle must tighten or release at a pace triggered by the neurological sequence. Muscle control begins in the torso. If the muscles in the chest and abdomen are weak, it will impact the refinement of the motor response. Every joint in the body has receptors that tell the joint how far and which way to move.
The core facilitates stability. A stable core gives the limbs and head the freedom they need to move.
The muscles in the shoulder girdle work in conjunction with the neural receptors in the glenohumeral joint to contract when writing and release when lifting the pencil off the paper. Every joint in your arm and hand do the same in a coordinated fashion to produce a handwritten document.
Taking this back to writing, you need a refined neuromuscular interface for proper control. Kids with poor core muscle strength tend to lean on their desks, appear sleepy often, or fall out of their chairs.
If they are using all their neuromuscular feedback to sit upright, writing will not be controlled. Hence, postural control and stability is step one to the motor aspect of writing. Without postural control, no other treatment interventions will be effective.
Next week we will look into alternative ways to achieve motor control to improve posture.