More often than not I find myself constantly reminding my patients to think as a muscle would. Muscles are extremely simple creatures when you think about it. They do one function and one function only…they shorten…THATS IT! Most patients I see become fixated on the strengthening of muscles as they are certain that are weak in some region of their body and more times than not don’t consider inflexibility or hypo-mobility to be their particular issue at hand.
Strengthening an already shortened area that is already strong isn’t inherently a bad thing but could be prolonging or facilitating a muscular imbalance related to a postural dysfunction which manifests as pain. What’s worse is that they become neurokinetically “hard wired” so to speak to perform activities with abnormal muscle memory further facilitating the dysfunction. So many of my patients never even realize that they had tightness in an unrelated area that is of often the source of the issue which, of course, must be corrected for ultimate resolution to the postural dysfunction causing pain.
The main focus of our integrated health center here in Kailua is to help our patients deal with their pain. It’s important that our physical therapists help OSR’s patients learn about their bodies and their muscles in order to learn their at-home stretches and ways that they can make sure that they aren’t going to further injure their bodies.
Having a formal evaluation by a physical therapist is essential in the treatment of most all musculoskeletal conditions as what is often seen so often on the surface level is rarely the case. The problem many times is not as straightforward as one would think and should command your prompt attention. In the mean, time lift less and stretch more.