Most times when people are rehabbing from surgery, dealing with repetitive injuries, or experiencing persistent pain, they start to feel like their body is "out of balance."
But how does it get that way?
The body feels and looks out of balance when the length tension relationships between muscles has changed.
For instance, in the picture above, the client's hips are shifted to his right in resting standing position.
This has occurred as a result of changing length-tension relationships. The muscles responsible for moving the hips to the right have determined it is safer to be in a shorter, more active state, which creates additional tension in that direction. As an effect, the muscles responsible for pulling the hips to the left will be stuck in a lengthened (or stretched) state.
These changing relationships cause the body to look and feel out of balance. They also place the body in a slightly more vulnerable, injury prone position.
For example, because the hips have naturally learned to shift right, more body weight will fall on the right side of the body with every day movement. Over time, the right side of the body is forced to absorb more and more force, which may result in additional "wear and tear." This is just one of many examples of how being "out of balance" can put us in more injury prone positions.
Optimally, the body's resting state would be in a neutral position that equally distributes body weight.
The natural next question is "why do length-tension relationships change in the body?"
Length tension relationships change in the body for a number of reasons including:
In all of these cases, the body adapts to a new normal resting position and learns to utilize muscles in a less than optimal way.
In order to correct the issue and restore balance to the body, it is important to have an understanding of what "proper" (or a balanced) position looks like. With that understanding in mind, you can practice reintroducing the body to its proper resting state.
With continued and disciplined practice, the body will restore balance.
It is also important to understand exactly where the root cause of the changing tension relationships are coming from. This can be a challenging task for even the best movement specialists.
One of the most impactful benefits of utilizing Neuro Therapy technology is that the "search" process pinpoints exactly where the most significant length tension relationship problems exist.
After pinpointing where those problems exist, the technology can be utilized to efficiently restore proper length-tension relationships and balance in the body.
The picture below was taken after a session with Neuro Therapy technology - it's clear to see that his body is much more balanced in resting standing position than before the session (pictured above).
If you are interested in learning more about supplementing your existing rehab program with Neuro Therapy technology, click the blue button below to arrange a time to talk to a member of our team.
If you've ever been part of a group fitness class, gym class, or team that required everyone to perform wall squats, you might have noticed something.
No two people were doing the wall squat the same way.
Some people had their feet really close to the wall, while others had them really far away.
Some people had their arms on their laps, while others had them to their side.
Some people had their legs really wide, while others had them really close together.
The fact of the matter is that all of these people were doing a different exercise that emphasized different muscle activation patterns and fatigued different muscles more quickly.
Zach and I are kicking around the idea of starting a "Principles In Movement" series that helps people to match the intent of the exercise with the execution of the exercise.
If we are going to work our butts off working out and rehabbing, we better make sure we are accomplishing the things we set out to accomplish.
So, let's take a look at the wall squat and figure out how to do just that.
The intent of the wall squat is to train the muscles of the upper leg (hamstrings, quads, abductors, adductors, glutes, etc.) and core to work synergistically to support the upper body in hip flexion and knee flexion.
When we train this properly, we can re-program the body to utilize muscles optimally, eliminate compensation patterns, and reduce stress/pain throughout the kinetic chain.
In order to perform this exercise with intent, here's what needs to happen.
Position your feet approximately the length of your thigh away from the wall. The goal is for your heels to be directly under your knees when you pull into your squat. The feet should also be approximately hip width.
Click the image to watch a video designed
to help you visualize proper wall squat form:
Keeping your feet in this position, lean back to the wall (using your arms for support if needed). Once back to the wall, try to flatten your back against the wall to create a neutral spine (this may take a good deal of core activation/lengthening).
Maintaining the foot position and contact with wall described, pull the hips down and back into the wall, activating the hamstrings. The weight should be distributed so that you can push straight down into the ground with both heels evenly. Work only in a range of motion in which you can maintain a neutral spine and the ability to push down through heels. Breathe through your diaphragm and keep the upper body relaxed.
Possible Compensation Patterns To Look Out For (These will keep you from accomplishing the main intent of the exercise):
The most important take away from this article is to exercise with intent. Know what you are trying to accomplish, how you will accomplish it, and then work like heck to make sure you're executing. If you're not, slow down or modify your exercise. If you exercise in this manner, you will see gains in strength, mobility, and decreases in pain.
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Clients often ask me why the surgical recovery process is different from individual to individual. They've seen a few friends who never really recovered, while others they know have come out of surgery with flying colors.
Before going into surgery themselves, they want to know... "what are the things I'll need to overcome to improve recovery after surgery?"
There are 3 things that happen right after surgery that might limit your recovery process. Keep in mind, I don't want this to be all doom and gloom - none of this is insurmountable. But I do want you to use this as an understanding for why a quality rehab program (and discipline and consistency on your end) is needed to improve recovery after surgery.
1) Scar tissue formation: Scar tissue is a rigid tissue that drastically affects the mobility of the tissue it covers. When scar tissue sets in, it can be extremely difficult (but doable) to regain mobility after surgery. Scar tissue also limits blood flow to the healing site, which can delay recovery.
2) Mobility becomes limited: Not only can scar tissue formation affect mobility, but the muscles themselves will become less mobile. Surgery introduces a trauma to the body, and when a trauma is introduced to the body, the nervous system becomes less comfortable utilizing the muscles in the affected area, reducing mobility. Being consistent with your PT routine is key to overcome these mobility challenges.
3) Compensations pattern develop: Due to the restricted mobility, the body figures out new ways to move. This works well in the short term, but long term, these new movement patterns will put more stress into other areas of the body that could lead to future injuries.
Neuro Therapy technology is designed to overcome all of these hurdles, decreasing the chances of scar tissue formation, increasing mobility, and ensuring compensation patterns don't develop over time.
And the best part is that you can learn to use the technology from home as a supplement to your existing rehab plan prescribed by your doctor and physical therapist.
Clients who use the technology from home report increasing range of motion, gaining strength, and getting back to life at a quicker rate.
If you want to learn more about how Neuro Therapy technology can complement and optimize your recovery after surgery, click the blue button below to schedule a free, 30 minute Neuro Therapy Orientation via Zoom.
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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