If you have been battling pain or discomfort for years, despite seeing lots of different professions (even a chiropractor), and still have not seen any progress, they have probably not looked at the right areas or tested it properly. If their advise was to foam roll, stretch or massage the sore areas WITHOUT extensive testing, they are most likely guessing or targeting the symptoms and not the cause. Should you stretch it (mobility) or should you strengthen it (stability)? Not EVERYTHING should be stretched, massaged or foam rolled, your practitioner’s role should be to find out what EXACTLY is needed for your body. Read on if you are interested !
What you need to realise is the human body is a survival machine, it will do WHATEVER it takes, to stay upright and continue moving, no matter how dysfunctional, weak or restricted the body is. Therefore, muscles and joints can tighten or lock up as a defensive mechanism to compensate for the surrounding dysfunctions. The best example is the hip flexor. We all love stretching it and digging our thumbs into it right? The hip flexor will tighten up and go into a protective mode when the Psoas muscle itself or the surrounding muscles are inhibited. We commonly misinterpret that tightness and hip pinch as a sign to stretch or foam roll, when really, it’s just trying to make sure your body doesn’t collapse by tightening the underactive muscle. Don’t get me wrong, some people may need to work on the mobility of the hip flexor, but majority need quite the opposite, building motor control and increasing the hip flexor activity. Another reason to have a strong Psoas is because of its direct attachment on the lumbar spine to stabilise.
WEAK PSOAS = LESS LUMBAR STABILISATION = DISC PROBLEMS !
If the hip flexor doesn’t do its job to stabilise the lower back, then what will ? It won’t, so it has to stay tightened. SO STOP STRETCHING IT !
Another example is our life-long enemy upper trapezius muscles (traps) causing neck and shoulder pain, most people will think it needs to be resolved by stretching or massaging. Anatomically, upper traps is a shoulder blade upward rotator (needed with all overhead actions) along with the SERRATUS ANTERIOR and LOWER TRAPS. Unfortunately, most individuals have little to no awareness about their serratus anterior and lower traps muscle, hence, is most of the time INHIBITED or WEAK. That means every daily activity that requires our arms to move upwards, we are OVER-UTILISING upper traps because the other muscles are not being used properly. So endlessly stretching and massaging the upper traps WITHOUT proper activation or awareness brought to the serratus anterior and lower traps will never resolve the issue.
As explained above, most cases require extensive testing to know the exact cause and the right strategy to implement.
Book online with one of our practitioners at Macquarie Park or North Ryde to find YOUR cause !
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