CAN MUSCLE IMBALANCE BE A CAUSE OF INJURY?
Oddly, we have no idea why or how we injure ourselves;
We usually blame it on overuse, like running too hard, or lifting a ridiculous amount of weight. Most of us do not recognise that our injuries may be due to slowly developing muscular imbalance between direct m
uscle and opposing in action muscle (agonist and antagonist muscle).
What is fascia?
The web like connective tissue that surrounds and holds the shape of all the soft tissues in the body, including muscles.
In its healthiest state, fascia is elastic and flexible, providing lubrication between structures, allowing muscles to glide freely, and even contributing to metabolic processes and neural function.
But when the fascia tightens or becomes restricted in its range of motion, muscles also become shortened and restricted. According to cumulative injury cycle theory, movement is impeded, posture is compromised, and the many systems fascia supports start to falter.
If this is so, stretching adhesive fascia may only lengthen each side of the adhesion leaving a fibrotic, spasmodic internal knot intact.
This presents the problem particularly in athletes who may not have time to wait for their bodies to heal before beginning a stretching program.
The way to treat that problem is to lengthen primary and synergistic muscles surrounding the involved injury, finding the knot of adhesive cross-linked fibers and open up the contractured matrix to allow the flow of vital nutrients to replace the toxic waste material.
Soon, the elastic collagenous fibers are transformed from a bundle cross-linked mess into aligned matrix that conforms better to the direction of the muscle fibers. Only then gentle assisted stretching of the muscles and surrounding structures is possible.
Proper stretching exercises performed at the correct stage of the injury can increase maximal joint range of motion.