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  • Writer's pictureEduardo Picasso

Second Law of Osteopathy: Structure governs function

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Structure governs function (and vice versa).

Each part of the human body has a reason for being, a specific function.

In the body there are structures located according to their function.

It is no coincidence that an artery is in a certain place, a joint has a certain shape or that a muscle has the strength and consistency that characterizes it.

A clear example is the circulatory system:

A sedentary person who starts a sports activity, begins to generate new connections between the small vessels (anastomosis) in his arterial and venous system, this means that the vascular structure is modified, becoming more efficient, because the tissues need more oxygen (among other things ) for the new requirement.

When performing physical exercise, the function is "modified" and the structure is changed (new blood vessels, more powerful muscles, etc.).

The human body seeks to comply with three laws: comfort, economy (spend as little energy as possible) and balance.

For this to be achieved, the function must be executed as well as possible and with the least amount of interference.

Another analogy to understand this law is the deterioration in the musculoskeletal system of astronauts in space.

The body is no longer influenced by the force of gravity: both bones, muscles and joints are less required and begin to deteriorate (osteoarthritis, atrophy and muscle weakness).

It would be the opposite effect of physical exercise: there is a deterioration of the structure and the function is altered.

A mobility restriction in a structure hinders the proper performance of its function, likewise, an altered function causes imbalances in the aforementioned structure.

Osteopathy seeks to improve the mobility (micromobilities) of the various components of the body system, with the aim that they can perform their function correctly.


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