A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that sudden sports
trauma lands 4.3 million Americans in the emergency room each year (most of them male)
and the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine states that sports injuries are one of the
most under-recognized problems in U.S. health care.
As a result of these injuries a number of problems can arise:
Someone with a back injury is estimated to gain 36 pounds over a
The human body was built for motion and when a sports
injury requires even temporary immobilization, deconditioning can proceed at an
Someone with muscular imbalances caused by a sports-related injury may find that, over time, their pain and discomfort increases.
It is important to recognize the signs of muscular compensations from sports-related
How do you know if you might have muscular compensations taking place?
- Your muscle feels tight even when you are not working out (i.e. chronically tight
hamstrings or lower back muscles).
- Your range of motion on one side of your body is much greater then the other.
For example you can side bend to the right much easier with a greater range of
motion than to the left.
- You are doing an exercise and it feels like an entirely different muscle or muscles
are doing all the work. For example you are doing a squat and all you feel is your
lower back muscles.
- You are well-hydrated and as you are working out you feel your muscles
beginning to cramp. Muscle cramping can be a sign of muscular weakness. I
worked recently with the catcher for the Chicago Cubs. When testing one of his
rotator cuff muscles he experienced some muscular cramping. After treating this
muscle and retesting the muscle the cramping was completely gone.
- You are walking down the stairs and see that you are favoring one side over the
other. Most people experience injury in the eccentric phase of the activity like
walking down the stairs. Typically they will feel their hips and knees on one side
much more than the other.
- You are driving and have to turn your whole body instead of just your neck as you
pull out of a parking spot.
If any of these sound like symptoms you experience, you may have muscular
compensations and muscular imbalances taking place. Muscle Activation Technique is a
noninvasive, biomechanically-based therapy that corrects muscular imbalances by using a
range of motion assessment designed to allow practitioners to check their work by
correlating limitations in range of motion to muscle weakness. Once a limitation of range
of motion is identified, then particular muscles that move the joint into that position will
be evaluated in order to determine if they are in proper neurological input.
There are two types of treatments that are simple and effective to improve neurological
connections to the muscle and restore balance: they include precision manual therapy
where a cross friction pressure is placed on both ends of the muscle to stimulate the
communication between the muscle and the central nervous system, and a program of
light isometric exercises that can be done in the comfort of the client’s home or in the
gym before working out. Muscle Activation Technique is the missing link that can get
you back into action from sports-related injuries resulting in muscular compensations.