Muscle Imbalance

By Dr Guy Ashburner | March 3, 2014

Muscle Imbalance

Poor posture can create muscle imbalance throughout the body. Some muscles can become shortened and tightened while opposing muscles can become lengthened and weakened.

Forward head posture with slumped spine and rounded shoulders is a common trait among office workers. This poor posture causes the muscles in the back to be stretched while the chest, rib and abdominal muscles become tightened. These imbalances may cause stress at joints and the involved muscles can pull unevenly on the bones they attach to, which can lead to pain and dysfunctional movements.

Muscle imbalance occurs in different ways based on daily lifestyle habits, physical activity, an individual’s body shape, previous surgeries or physical trauma, etc. A muscle imbalance causes the body to compensate, which sooner or later results in various musculoskeletal disorders—headaches, jaw dysfunction, neck pain, shoulder tension and pain, frozen shoulder, all forms of back pain, Sciatica, hip pain, knee pain, muscle tension and joint degeneration over the long term (osteoarthritis).

Osteopathic care combined with appropriate exercise prescription is an effective way of treating muscle imbalances. Being professionally assessed is the first step to helping alleviate muscle imbalance concern, pain, or dysfunction. Once you have been diagnosed by an Osteopath, treatment to help correct this imbalance can begin. Firstly an assessment and analysis is performed to establish how serious the problem is and then, if appropriate, treatment is performed to mobilize structures, balancing body mechanics, and freeing up the structures causing the symptoms. This reduces pain and increases balance and symmetry.

Ultimately the aim is not just to treat it but prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. This includes education on how to keep the area in question healthy in the future.

Moving naturally and normally is the best way to attain muscle balance. Use your body as it should be used as a whole and as a unit as every other animal on the planet does. Once a muscular imbalance has developed, your body cannot go on for long this way before you will begin to experience problems. That is why you should never just cover up the pain or put off addressing your condition.


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