Could your muscle imbalances be the underlying mechanism of your chronic pain?
A muscle imbalance is a disruption of local and global relationships between functional muscle groups of our body. There are a few variables we use to help evaluate muscle balance: activation, strength, control, and length. The hard part is imbalance can be a combination of all four and to varying degrees!
An even crazier thing is that muscle imbalance seldomly shows up in the form of pain right away, if at all. Instead, it creeps up, primarily affecting the way your body functions, creating compensatory muscle patterning. We call this, functional dysfunction. Most of the human beings on this planet live and can function with it unknowingly. Ignorance is bliss.
Try this, ask 3 of your friends to squat as low as they can. You will likely find that all 3 of them squat in a distinct way, using different strategies. Most will associate the differences with the structural make up of a person (bone alignment). Rarely, will it be associated with the way a person’s muscles are balanced/imbalanced.
So when does muscle imbalances commonly become a problem people are aware of?When it starts to cause a domino effect that leads to a person’s experience of pain or injury. Often, when muscle imbalance is an underlying culprit, we often hear of client’s telling us stories of recurring visits to their rehab therapists for various injuries or pains that feel like they came from nowhere. Their problems are often never fully resolved.
The next time you find yourself experiencing recurring/frequent injuries or long standing pain that seems to have no full solution, the underlying mechanism could be an imbalance in your muscles.