Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Skinny on Muscle Imbalances - Restoring Order As A Means Of Eliminating Back Pain


There are many causes of back pain. Injury, illness, herniated disks and poor posture are just a few.

Muscle imbalances are one of the lesser side effects of improper use, posture, strain and injury, and are commonly the cause of the aches and pains associated with back pain. Unfortunately, most doctors don't diagnose muscle imbalances until it is too late.

Muscle Imbalances Defined

So what exactly is a muscle imbalance? A muscle imbalance is exactly as it sounds, an 'imbalance' or inequality that exists within the muscles. It occurs when two or more muscles in the body that oppose each other are disproportionate.

An example of a common muscle imbalance occurs in the muscles of the quadriceps and hamstrings. Most people work hard to strengthen the front part of their leg but often skimp when it comes to exercising the hamstring. A muscle imbalance in this area of the leg can result in a 'popping' sound in the knee. It can also result in back pain.

The single most common muscle imbalance leading to back pain is disproportionate abdomen to back ratio. Think of it this way... it's like a teeter totter that isn't balanced because one end is shorter than the other. It will still work but not optimally.

Not exercising the abdomen can lead to severe back pain because the abdomen supports the back.

Biology of Muscles

It will help your understanding a bit if you have an idea of how muscles work. Muscles are fibrous tissues that connect to bones in the body, supporting the function of movement. To facilitate movement muscles contract and then relax. So a muscle gets shorter and then longer in response to movement. A muscle imbalance may result in too much or too little contracting or relaxing. Or, some muscles may get too strong while others aren't strong enough and can reduce a persons' stability.

Factors Contributing to Muscle Imbalances

One of the primary causes of muscle imbalances is poor posture. If you sit for too long in a bad position or continually stand with bad posture, your muscles adapt to your posture but in a bad way resulting in imbalances.

Muscle imbalances can also result when you overuse a muscle. If you are right handed for example and use a pull lever on the job, and only pull with the right hand, the right hand/arm will be stronger than the left which presents an imbalance.

The Benefits of Exercise

The good news is that exercise can help reduce and even eliminate muscle imbalances. (If not careful however, improper training can also lead to muscle imbalances).

You can exercise weaker muscles to catch them up to stronger ones and work to correct imbalances and maintain overall stability. You can assess whether or not opposing muscles are out of balance by testing your lifting strength. Try lifting your maximum on one side and then the other.

For example, if you can lift a 10 pound weight during a bicep curl on the left side, but a 30 pound weight on the right, you have a muscle imbalance. You should enlist the assistance of a trainer when testing muscle imbalances. By working with a trainer, you can develop a fitness program that not only addresses muscle imbalances but improves overall tone and strength. Usually a combination of strength training and physical therapy or chiropractic therapy can be used to correct muscle imbalances.

Prevention

Prevention is critical when it comes to muscle imbalances and back pain. One of the best things you can to correct and prevent future injury is seek out the help of a professional trainer. A trainer can perform a physical evaluation and test the relative muscle strength you have on each side of the body. You can then work together to develop a strength training program that provides overall strength and eliminates potential problem areas.

About The Author

Steve Preston, President of Fast Fitness has been training and counseling clients for 15 years. He offers personal fitness training, metabolic testing and customized fitness and nutrition plans. His new guide *The Better Back Guide: 6 Weeks to Improving Strength and Reducing Pain Without Surgery* teaches people how to reduce, eliminate and prevent chronic back pain using a six week program. You can read more about his guide and his other fitness guides and services at: http://www.fast-fitness.net. Learn More about Back Pain at: http://www.backpainworkout.com


MORE RESOURCES:

4 Ways to Build Muscle as You Age
The Epoch Times
Pretty alarming, eh? Though it certainly explains why Granny needs help carrying the groceries. On the upside though, while Gran's got her challenges, you've still got time to slow the muscle mass slide and even build muscle mass, and, as my buddy says ...



Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick
STACK News
ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run. Preparation Nation: Carroll Dragons. Strength · Catcher Technique, Part 10: The Baseball Workout · Build Muscle Faster With This Simple Weight Room Trick · Palm a Basketball With This Grip-Strengthening Workout.

and more »


How Getting a 'Muscle Pump' Helps Athletes Build Muscle
STACK News
If your goal is to build muscle, then absolutely. The pump is an essential aspect of any hypertrophy training phase. However, we want to reiterate that as an athlete, building muscle is only a part of your overall training program and should not be ...



One Green Planet

How to Build Muscle Slowly With Your Plant-Based Food Choices
One Green Planet
There is plenty of evidence that a vegan diet actually promotes lean muscle mass and muscular growth. Nevertheless, there are some strategies you can use to build muscle slowly over time, boost your metabolism, and keep you in shape all year long.



Mexican youths build muscle strength to resist a life of violence
Fusion
Thousands of Central American children are heading north to the United States, desperately trying to flee gang violence, murder, rape and hopelessness. But in the violent birthplace of Mexico's most notorious drug cartel, some children are developing ...



New health book helps men shed fat, build muscle, increase testosterone
KABC-TV
'Refuel' program could help men shed fat, build muscle. 'Refuel' program could help men get healthy. The so-called 'Refuel' program could help men shed fat, build muscle and increase testosterone. Embed. <iframe width="476" height="270" ...

and more »


Love Can Make You Stronger
Pacific Standard
Not only can oxytocin build muscle and keep you strong as you get older, it can also help you heal faster, which is where Conboy thinks it can be really helpful. “With additional studies in animals, oxytocin could be potentially used to combat muscle ...



BostInno (blog)

Join This Weight Loss Challenge For a Smaller Waist & Potentially Thicker Wallet
BostInno (blog)
If you're unfamiliar with this heart-rate-monitored fitness class, it uses an interval style of training to create a challenging workout that will help you burn fat, build muscle and gain cardiovascular endurance. And if the thought of a smaller ...



Where to find tasty protein-on-a-stick at the Fair
FOX 9 News
Our bodies need protein to build muscle, but you may not even be thinking about this at the State Fair -- Fox 9 Fitness Expert Ali Holman shows us how to get your protein-on-a-stick. 1. Bacon Wrapped Turkey Leg (Underwood St North of Randall Ave ...



Swine for sale: How kids' livestock shows became a cutthroat (and expensive ...
Washington Post
Still, LaRue and her younger brother Levi took care of their hogs as they'd been taught how in 4-H and Future Farmers of America, walking them every day to build muscle, bathing and carefully measuring their feed. But she knew they were doomed to lose, ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.