What are muscle imbalances?
Muscle imbalances develop when one muscle group is stronger than the muscle group opposing it, for example, when your quad is stronger then your hamstring. When a strength imbalance exists, the stronger muscle tightens up and the opposing muscle lengthens and weakens. Your body is designed to work in a balanced manner with all moving parts, including bones, muscles, and tendons, possessing balanced strength and a good range-of-motion. When one muscle is stronger than its opposing one, it can affect your movements and your posture. I am the perfect shining example of this. When I was in high school I tore my ACL and was told it was because my hamstrings were not as strong as my quads decreasing stability of my knee. That info would've been handy to know 20+ years ago!
We know that sitting is the new smoking, but did you know that sitting too much and sitting incorrectly can contribute to muscle imbalances? Sitting slumped over in a chair causes the muscles in your shoulders and chest to shorten and the muscles in the back to lengthen and weaken. That tension in front of your chest due to the shortened muscles also alters the musculature in your neck resulting in pain and headaches.
How can we help? Chiropractors use therapies such as graston and graded myofascial release to help release adhesions as a result of the shortening or lengthening. Adjustments help align the joints and relieve stress on nerves. Rehab exercises are done to strengthen weak muscle groups reducing the risk of injury.
Posted In: Chiropractic