The stegosaurus was a dinosaur that had prominent tile-like projections from its back. You'll have seen them on Jurassic Park.

Many years ago, I kind of started to turn into a human equivalent.

I began to grow a bump out of my spine. It was out of my own doing.

In my bboy (breakdance) days, I was learning a move that required a spin on the top part of my back to my front and cyclically back to my back again.

Before I could do it, I painfully hit the middle part of my spine time and time again. One or two of my vertebral projections began to increase in size and become thicker bone in adaptation to the repetitive bashing.

Once I'd learned to do the move well enough so that I didn't bash my back any more, I began to loose my steggy spine.

It returned to normal in a year or so.

What we do and how we do it shapes us, literally.

By applying forces to our skeleton regularly, we force it to adapt.

It doesn't matter whether these forces are primarily from an external source (like banging against the floor repeatedly) or an internal one, namely the way we use our muscles to move ourselves. 

Let's take the example of a foot that you hit and you feel pain in. To minimise your pain, you will walk differently on it, changing various muscular patterns to do so.

With pain that lasts for years, you would walk that way and your skeleton would start to adapt accordingly making the bone structure through the side you bear most weight on denser. It may even begin to angle differently to minimise the muscular work needed to keep it this way.

The exact same thing can happen even if the pain disappears after a few weeks if the muscular patterns don't return to the post-injury configuration too.

Your structure and the way you function are intimately related.

They drive each other.

The thing worth knowing is that while they drive each other, function can be changed a lot more quickly and easily than structure generally can.

Changing the skeleton can be done with surgery - a pretty extreme measure that has its benefits and risks - or through adaptations to functional changes. Skeletal changes of larger magnitudes will take longer to change than smaller ones with the functional method.

Patience, persistence and know-how are the name of the game here.

Bony growths, bunions and wonky skeletons can all be examples of the long term adaptations of structure to the way it is used.

If you've noticed anything like these in yourself, it's worth intervening by at least changing the way you use yourself as soon as you possibly can before the structures drive your functioning even further askew for the sake of your athleticism and your general health.

Arton "Desteggied" Baleci