Photo: woods wheatcroft photography

The Secret to Strong, Injury Free Muscles

Do you have frequent muscle injuries or muscles that are not performing like they should? Is your once strong and supple body now less strong and tighter? Do you work out regularly doing what you were taught was the way to work out?

You’ll probably be surprised to hear this, but the problem doesn’t start with your muscles; it starts as a movement problem. We all know a major trauma will produce scar tissue. The same is true with the micro-traumas from muscle mis-use.

A subtle, gradual strain can have a cumulative effect that is as great as a major trauma. A “stress fracture” may sound like a minor injury, but it is still a fracture in a bone. Over time your body creates more scar tissue (fascia) to help protect, heal, and assist the injured area. Because the injury is so gradual, you don’t realize what’s happening until it is an injury. This is in part due to fact that increased tension produces decreased awareness. What comes to your awareness is not the gradual scarring; what comes to your attention is the resulting injury.

The injury that seems to develop out of the blue and won’t go away is not like a specific injury caused by one event. Because it built up over weeks, months, or even years, the injury doesn’t go away like a bruise would. It has layers of scar tissue and often whole body compensational patterns involved.

The solution

Fixing the problem requires understanding the cause. When a muscle or any body part repeatedly does a job it’s not primarily designed to do, it becomes a micro trauma. It’s easy to understand that when we walk or run, our legs are meant to track straight. In other words our knees should be pointing forward. So you can imagine how years of a leg rotated out would produce a chronic injury someplace in your body—probably many places in that instance.

Unfortunately pulling or strengthening the body part back into alignment is, at best, only temporary. In the long run it can cause more problems because you are adding more strain on top of a chronic strain pattern. You need to release the strain, realign the body part, and learn the natural, correct way to move that body part and its muscles.

The easy way to think about this is to think about what primitive man did with his body. He walked and ran. He didn’t walk or run sideways. Yes, those muscles can do that, but you can imagine how your legs would feel if that were the only way you propelled yourself.

The bottom line: When a muscle does a job it is not meant to do, it gets tighter. When a muscle does a job it is meant to do, it gets stronger. If you aren’t getting stronger – look at how you are using your body.

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advanced Rolfer, www.align.org, 32 yrs experience – call if you have questions: 265.8440.

Photo by JD | Photography

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