Incomplete Mechanics, Incidents, and Injury The I3 model

I3 model –


Incomplete mechanics, incidents, and injury. When people see me we work together to determine where the client is within the I3 model.

Most clients I see don’t have an “actual” injury. This is because pain is normally just the warning sign that something isn’t quite right. It could be that your muscles are too tight and that is putting too much pressure in your joint. Your body responds with pain signals to let you know that something is wrong, something needs to be done to correct that issue you are having. It could be something as simple as your arches collapse when you squat that this is causing knee pain, or it could be that you are highly stressed out and that is causing headaches. These are simple issues that can build over time and create the impression that there is something really wrong. 95% of the people I see are in this stage, where they’ve had a dull but increasing pain over time with something they love to do. This is where I strive to get to the root of the problem, teach the techniques like mobilizing the tissues, decongesting swelling, reperfusing tissues, and restoring normal body motions. The really cool thing about it is that this can be done with simple tools and techniques like foam rollers, bands, or just by learning new breathing patterns.

Incomplete mechanics – the vast majority of clients I see fit into this category. This is some movement pattern that is causing your body to tighten up and compensate to keep you doing what you want to do. This can be something as simple as you can’t lift your arms up overhead with lifting and keep the your arms in a good pattern such as keeping your arms straight and get your weight stable and overhead. If we work on something like your shoulder internal rotation (your ability to bring your arms close to your body) we can get you moving much more freely and get you doing what you want when you want it. Or if something starts to feel wonky you will now have the tools to address, maintain, and overcome issues.

The good news is that it is entirely correctable with training. If you get your setup and core stability setup, and combine this with effective breathing, you can correct your body’s misalignment from neurological control patterns with a little coaching and practice. When you combine this with methods to target areas of tightness or congestion and you get a recipe to restore or attain movement patterns that will allow you move pain free and do the things you want to do.

Incident – Incidents occur when incomplete mechanics result in pain in a movement or activity. This can be caused by a host of issues ranging from incomplete mechanics, but it can also be caused by overly sensitized tissues, congested tissues, poorly prefused tissues, and lack function. The difference between an incomplete mechanic and incident is pain or some other symptom like numbness, tingling, burning or other neurolgical symptom. It is important to note that the tissues in the area of your symptoms are sending out signals that something is not right, but it doesn’t mean there is an injury. People in this stage of health can quickly overcome these issues because there is not damage yet, just tissues that are crying out that something needs to be done.

Injury– Injury occurs when you have a specific event where you heard a pop, had a painful area for a long enough time that it caused damage to the tissues. This type of client requires a longer period of time to correct issues, and include some interventions such as desensitization, decongestion, reperfusion, and restoration of function. These things will also likely require biomechanic reeducation or simply stated working on your form and posture.

It is important to note that simply because you have an injury doesn’t mean you have to stop doing everything. Finding the things you can do while your body recovers from an injury is very important in keeping motivation up and keeping you moving. This is because the body and its systems have momentum. Meaning if you are moving you are more likely to keep moving, and if you are mostly sedentary especially after an injury, it hard to get momentum to start moving again. Keep it easy on yourself and find the safe path to keep moving throughout your recovery and get back to your goals faster.



Brian McCarroll