Understanding Muscle Balance for Athletics And Your Health

For many of us, when we imagine how a doctor should go about treating a tight region of our body or a recurring sports injury or repetitive-stress related problem, we tend to focus too narrowly. Our first tendency is to think in terms of treating only the area of pain or stiffness, seeking immediate relief from what most obviously appears to be ailing us. However, research over the years has shown in chiropractic and orthopedic medicine that pain or stiffness in a particular area or region of the body may be caused or perpetuated by neighboring or even opposing muscle groups, especially those which are tied into our repetitive postures, favorite sports, or athletic pursuits.

Below are two pictures to explain how muscles in our upper body and lower body are linked together in ways which result in typical syndromes resulting in common kinds of injuries which plague our work and athletic environments. Understanding these relationships is key to working from a "Big Picture" approach to achieve lasting relief from chronic and/or recurring musculoskeletal problems.  

Dr. Michael Ackerman will be happy to explain the rationale for the exercises he prescribes for your condition, but the following will help you understand the basic principles behind his rationale and deepen your grasp of the rehabilitative process necessary to overcome long-term conditioning patterns in the body.

Upper Body Muscle Imbalance -- "Upper Crossed Syndrome"

Sitting at a desk improperly, texting on your phone with the head bent forward, sitting on a couch bending over and working on your laptop, slumping a a couch while watching TV or reading a book, all result in the typical postural patterns developing in our bodies.  

 

Lower Body Muscle Imbalance -- "Lower Crossed Syndrome"

Letting our abs get weak, our bellies get bigger, sitting for long periods of time allowing the back of our leg muscles (hamstrings) to shorten, and our front of the hip muscles (hip flexors) to shorten results in the following posture patterns developing in our bodies.

 

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