Why You Should Consider Physical Therapy Even If You Aren't Injured (Health Digest)

Posted: Oct 16, 2023 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Health Digest on October 16, 2023.


Why You Should Consider Physical Therapy Even If You Aren't Injured

By Beth Bradford

How long do you typically sit in a day? Most activity trackers can give you an idea. While sitting for too long is linked to conditions such as depression, weight gain, and diabetes, it can also lead to muscular imbalances. Oftentimes, what causes much of our chronic pain has to do with imbalances in our bodies. In other words, our bodies can become chronically out of alignment if muscles are too long or short in certain places. These muscular imbalances can result in common ailments such as tension headaches, neck pain, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and sciatica.

Although you might try treatment through a doctor, they will usually address your pain with medications rather than dealing with its root cause, according to neuromuscular therapist Lee Albert (via Kripalu). Physical therapists can isolate the source of your balance issues by testing your movement, strength, and coordination. From there, they can prescribe the correct physical treatments to help improve your mobility, strength, and balance (per Choose PT).

How muscular imbalances can occur

You might not notice an imbalance, but you could have one if one side of your body tends to be sore after exercise. Your exercise program might include repetitive movements that could exacerbate muscular imbalances. Doing the same exercises on a single plane of motion (e.g. lat pulldowns and crunches) can be too restrictive on your body. Instead, a balanced exercise program that includes lateral and rotational movements can minimize muscular imbalances.

Similarly, repetitive movements at work — even sitting too long in the same position — can throw your body into an imbalance. When you're sitting, your hip flexors shorten and limit the range of motion in your hips. With shortened hip flexors, your glutes can't engage properly to fully extend the hip when you stand up straight (per American Council on Exercise).

Read the full article here.

More ACE in the News