Muscle Imbalance

January 31, 2018

Muscle Imbalance

Successful rehabilitation from injury requires a 60 / 40 collaboration between therapist and client. In other words the treatment the therapist provides makes up about 60% of the recovery process, while the client fulfils the remaining 40% of the process with a home exercise programme.

The main aim of the home exercise programme is to correct any muscle imbalance, caused by overactive or underactive muscles. Muscle imbalance, caused by injury or poor posture may cause a joint to shift out of kilter. When a joint is out of alignment, muscles on one side will lengthen, and on another side shorten. Sensory receptors within the belly of muscles that detect changes in tension, force and muscle length become distorted, and alter neural pathways to the central nervous system.

The choice of exercises will depend on the state of the muscle(s) being targeted. A mixture of stretches, and movements are designed to lengthen, inhibit or activate muscles. Muscle imbalances are not always the cause dysfunction in human movement, but in the existence of muscle imbalances many of the supportive tendons and ligaments are under greater stress, and therefore there is a risk of overuse injuries.

If the therapist treats the symptoms, and the client doesn’t follow up with the home exercises, then the problem will reoccur time and time again. In many instances, surgery for knee, hip, neck and wrist operations could have been avoided, if muscle imbalance had been addressed.

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