Functional Training

If you have persistent back pain, the chances are that you will have functional deficits throughout vital muscle groups in the affected area. Functional weakness can affect any area of the body from the ankle to the neck. Changes in muscle function during painful episodes can result in long lasting changes in the way your body works and can leave you more prone to injury in the future. There are two main areas to consider when we talk about muscle function and rehabilitation.

The first aspect is muscle endurance. A muscle may contract when it should but it may not have the strength to sustain a contraction for prolonged periods. This is often why we get pain when performing tasks over a period of time such as gardening or sitting at a computer. If a certain muscle that should contract during a task is unable to, other muscles around the area will have to be recruited to “help” the weakened muscle. Unfortunately, if this misuse continues over time, imbalances in muscles can occur which can have profound on bodily function and posture.

The second area is movement patterns. This is the order in which a certain group of muscles contract in order to move or stabilise a joint. There is always an ideal order in which this will occur. Numerous studies have shown that persistant pain or injury can change the order in which muscle groups fire. This can result in a worsening of the condition and increase the chances of injury relapse.

At Avon View Chiropractic our assessments always include a detailed examination into the major movement patterns that occur throughout the body enabling us to identify problems that lead to a higher risk of recurrence. As well as the manual therapy options we employ (manipulation, acupuncture and soft tissue therapy) we also prescribe specific exercises to address functional deficits and encourage correct movement.

Over the next few months we will be posting about the major muscle groups that go wrong and how rehabilitative exercise can help restore proper function and reduce the risk of pain coming back in conjunction with chiropractic care.

To find out more about functional training and movement patterns, please contact us.