This post was guest blogged by Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS.
Finally an approach to back pain that makes great sense: “Muscle Balance Therapy”.
When it comes to back pain, knowledge is power. Our mission here at the Healthy Back Institute is to help you learn all you can about your particular condition because we know that informed people get better care and faster results. The more you know, the more you can be in control of your own treatment, and Muscle Balance Therapyâ„¢ is one of the most powerful tools you can use to help you take control of your situation.
A basic fact about back pain is that most treatments fail because they begin at the endâ€”that is, they merely focus on the pain, which is just a symptom of a larger problem. A word of caution: If you feel even minor back pain, you should take it very seriously; your body is telling you that something is not right. Failing to address this situation now will likely result in a higher level of pain and having to work much harder and much longer to get yourself back to a pain-free state.
Whether your goal is to stay healthy or to get lasting relief from your pain, you should know that back pain or any disease, for that matter develops as a process. Muscle Balance Therapy addresses the underlying cause of your condition while at the same time brings relief to your symptoms. In essence, it attempts to reverse the process that brought you pain and bring your body back to a more neutral state.
The Greeks knew about the principles behind Muscle Balance Therapy 2500 years ago, but some how this simple, sensible approach was replaced by today’s medical treatments that merely focus on symptoms rather than the source of your pain.
What is a Muscle Imbalance?
Chances are, you have never heard of muscle imbalances and worse you don’t even know that your own muscles are out of balance. But the reality is that everyone has muscle imbalances to some degree regardless of age, sex, or level of fitness. No one is perfect. And even if you did manage to achieve perfection, you could not stay there for long.
In simple terms, a muscle imbalance occurs when you have overdeveloped and tight muscles in one area of your body while the opposing muscles are weak and stretched out of their normal position. These imbalances can happen anywhere on the body and often develop as the result of the routine things you do while on the job, playing sports, or engaging in other activities you enjoy.
Here are just a few conditions that can develop as a result of muscle imbalances: IT band syndrome, SI joint syndrome, sciatica, frozen shoulder, knee pain, hip pain, and all forms of back pain.
Why People Have Muscle Pain
As your muscles get more and more out of balance, you end up pulling your self out of proper alignment thus producing uneven more stress and causing additional wear and tear on muscles, ligaments, joints, and even the spine.
Almost all of us live our lives with chronic unrecognized muscular imbalances and while it does take time for muscle imbalances to cause a symptomatic condition the first signs of trouble are evident on our bodies in the form of “postural dysfunctions”. Postural dysfunction can be seen in the abnormal position on the pelvis, head, neck, shoulder and even in the curvature of the spine.
Once a postural dysfunction 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. In other words, if you are in your 40s, don’t wait until you’re 60’s to decide you have a problem.
Try this analogy: If you drive your car with the wheels out of alignment, the tread on your tires is going to wear unevenly. If you don’t get an alignment, eventually you’re going to have a blowout. The same principle holds true for your back and other areas of your body.
Here’s a simple overview: If your core muscles are out of balance “from a strength versus flexibility perspective” front to back or side to side, you will have at least one postural dysfunction (most people have more than one). What happens when your core muscles are out of balance is that your pelvis will be pulled out of its normal position. Because the pelvis is the base of the spine and controls the position and curvature of the spine, your spine will then go into abnormal curvature. Abnormal curvature of the spine is the root of all back pain whether it’s a pulled back muscle, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, SI joint syndrome, spondylolisthesis, and the list goes on.
What is Muscle Balance Therapy?
Muscle Balance Therapy is an innovative approach to eliminating back pain once and for all, starting with a careful yet simple assessment of all the muscles that affect the stability of your hips, pelvis, and spine from both a strength and a flexibility perspective.
We use both physical and visual assessments to insure accuracy. In other words, the physical should confirm the visual, and the visual should confirm the physical. In the absence of these assessments, any exercise you might try is going to put you at risk of strengthening a muscle that does not need to be strengthened, which can make your condition worse. The same is true for stretching if you stretch a muscle that does not need to be stretched, you could be doing more harm than good.
Once your assessments are done, you will have proved to yourself that you do have muscle imbalances and that you have one or more postural dysfunctions. You also will have learned the root cause of your condition. Best of all, you will know exactly how to correct the problem.
How Muscle Balance Therapy works
The Muscle Balance Therapy approach uses the results of your assessments to design an individually targeted program of corrective exercises to help take the stress off your muscles, joints, and ligaments so you can achieve a more balanced body and eliminate the cause of your pain.
In a sense, what Muscle Balance Therapy is asking you to do is a very “unbalanced workout” to get your body back into proper balance. Once your muscles are more balanced and you’re feeling better, you will be able to return to your workplace or to your favorite activity with the confidence and security that you need to live a full and productive life.
Before you decide that Muscle Balance Therapy is right for you, understand that you will have to commit yourself to doing the work required. Because when it comes right down to it, you are the only one who can bring about the results you want. And even if your condition is so severe that you do not achieve 100 percent pain relief, you will see significant improvement with Muscle Balance Therapy.
Keep in mind that while you may be able to mask back pain temporarily with drugs and other treatments, the underlying problem is still going to be there. That’s why it is essential that you work on first identifying and then addressing your muscle imbalances. Muscle Balance Therapy was designed to do both and has produced amazing results.
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