Ever wonder why your hamstrings are always so tight even though you stretch them everyday? Or why your neck and back always feel tight even though you get wonderful massages, do "hot" yoga and get chiropractic adjustments 3 times a week? Most of the time this is because the actual muscle tissue isn't actually contracted and tight. It actually has too much tone and the motor units are always "on" and unable to relax and recover.
Why is there too much tone you ask? And, why can't stretching and massaging muscles and adjusting joints regularly cure this problem for the long term? Because, this is only a short term gain in flexibility. You might feel great right after but once you start exercising and performing your daily activities these muscles start tightening up again.
The other component to improving your mobility issues for the long term includes stability and motor control exercises. By increasing the strength and activation of weak muscles and motor patterns you decrease the over-activation "compensation" of the assessory muscles. Thus, your hamstrings and other assessory muscles have time to relax. This will decrease high tension areas of your body and allow you to exercise and use your body much harder with less risk of overuse and injury.
The question is now which stability and motor control exercise do I do? Fortunately, there is something called the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). This 5 to 10 minute assessment finds exactly which movement patterns you are weak in and which ones you are not. A motor control/stability program will then just be geared towards the patterns you are weak in. This will not only ensure you are progressing towards your goals but it will also save you time from performing unnecessary exercises.
Whether you are training for a marathon, play soccer, a competitive weightlifter or even an avid gardener, your performance will always increase if you have improved motor control patterns and stability. This will allow you to increase your intensity of practice without set-backs from overuse.
If you have been dealing with chronic "tightness"/pain and the same injuries recurring injuries in your sport even though you stretch all the time, you will benefit from this program.
Come in or call for a Free SFMA assessment and learn how we can optimize your body for your sport or daily life.
647 Route 18 (Unit; i) East Brunswick, NJ, 08816 - 732-390-8100
Dr. James Coomber, PT, DPT, COMT, CES