Many people wonder how they actually arrive at our door, at a point where they are injured or in pain and in need of treatment 😒. If they were unfortunate enough to have tripped over a kerb, or were tackled badly on the sports field then that's all pretty obvious.
But what about those clients who's pain just came on for no apparent reason 🤔.
Well these actually make up the majority of the clients we treat and they have all arrived at the point of pain or injury from muscle imbalances. From a personal point of view I find this quite sad, because everyone who is being consciously active is trying to improve their health, but no one has told them that it can go the other way if they are not careful.
We have blogged in the past about the very common and modern issue of the head and shoulders held too far forward and all the problems this brings. We have blogged about what can be done to prevent this happening (check out the list of previous blogs). But what about issues other than head, neck and shoulders?
Well, muscles work across joints in opposing pairs 😗! The Biceps (on the front of the upper arm) for example bend the arm at the elbow (and flex the shoulder), opposing the biceps are the Triceps on the back of the upper arm. At rest they hold an equal amount of tension and that keeps your arm straight when you are not using it. If you were to only ever work the biceps they would eventually overpower the Triceps and you would stand with a slightly bent arm (you may see this quite a lot at the gym if you look around 😮) This state of affairs would put unequal loading and stresses through the joint, the tendons and the ligaments and eventually lead to pain or injury; and we don't need to reach the bent arm stage for this to be the case. But there is an easy way to prevent this from happening 🤗.
Lets take our first example from the gym environment 💪.
You have joined a gym....great. Now you head for the weights area where you perform a bench press, which works the chest and triceps; but you need to follow that up by working the opposing muscle groups in the back. In this case the Rhomboids, and middle and lower fibres of Trapezius and the Triceps too. But how am I meant to know all these muscles I hear you cry 😱....... Don't worry you don't need too! All you need to do is look at the action you just performed and simlpy perform the opposite action. So, if you pushed out in front of you then simply find the exercise or machine that allows you to do the opposing movement: a pull backwards. If you pushed a weight over your head then find one that you pull back down and so on.
So what about a particular sport? Well, apply the same principle. Look at the direction of movements of the limbs and find exercises or movements to that are the reverse of that action as part of your training plan. Yes, professional/elite runners actually do spend some time running backwards as part of there training regime 🙃.
Finally then, how about everyday activities? Well, lets say you just had a two hour weeding stint in the garden. Bent over forward, pulling up weeds with a pulling arm back towards you action.
Pop inside and do a few exercises that reverse those actions you were doing, before having a well deserved tea 👍
So in a nutshell and at the heart of all activity or exercise that is either repetitive or requires use of strength above and beyond every day actions........... is the need to offset the effects of that activity that can create imbalances.
Of course, if you are unsure about what potentially undesirable effects your sport or daily activities or hobby may be having on your body then come and pay us a visit at The Reinge Clinic where we provide a easy to do programme to keep any imbalances at bay. 🤗