Movement Imbalances and the Importance of Correction

by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

by Paula Allia

It is time to explore the everyday use of your body. Whether you start your day exercising or you merely get up, make coffee and read the paper, you need to think about the postures used for that chosen task. This is where you want to sweat the small stuff. If you minimize the compressive and distractive forces on the body the joints and body will have a better chance of functioning longer without destruction and dysfunction.

One needs to keep in mind that the trunk, from the neck down to the pelvis, acts to stabilize the body so that the extremities (arms and legs) can perform activities. The neck has to support the head and has many muscular ties into the upper back and shoulder regions. Good posture overall is not hard at rest when our body falls in line with the center of gravity of the body. The muscles are balanced and do not have to work too hard. Use of the arms place much undue stress in the neck over time. Faulty posture
starts to kick in poor execution of muscles firing within the neck (intrinsic muscles) and overpowering muscles that attach in the neck and travel as low as the thoracic spine or scapula (extrinsic muscles) become more activated. This leads to the beginning of dysfunction.

fitness chartRepetitive motions in the wrong positions or with the use of the wrong muscles can cause strain on the structures of the spine. The body breaks down over time and pain ensues. Imagine that abnormal movements may have a negative affect on the joints involved. It is not uncommon that upon evaluation of a client incorrect muscles are being utilized. It is the identification of these movement impairments and corrections that can allow you to age gracefully and last longer. Even if joints are already arthritic you
may be able to lessen the progression of deterioration if you learn to correct the abnormal movements that have taken over.

In the neck, motion takes place by tilting the head forward and backward, side to side, or rotating. Poor postural habits are identified with a forward head posture, rounded shoulders and many times mid and low back dysfunctions. Many people have these dysfunctions but are unaware because there is no pain…….YET. The body will keep functioning but the abnormal wear and tear will catch up as the muscles and bones are positioned for inefficient function. Eventually pain will present itself and the
issues may be blamed on the current activity. Yet, many injuries stem from repetitive actions in bad circumstances and the current activity may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Forward shoulders and head wreak havoc on the use of the arms. Inefficient positions strain the muscles. Be accountable for your simple postures so that you can participate in the activities that you desire. Note the plumb-line and correct posture at rest. If you cannot assume this position then you may be heading down the path of excessive stresses and strains that will take over your body. Correct them while you can. Posture yourself!

For further information, please call Paula at Fitness Together in downtown Naples 239.263.9348.

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