News flash! Peak athletic performance needs more than good nutrition, stength and conditioning. Optimum performance requires balance in muscle tension of opposing muscle and precision muscle sequence firing. Let me expand on both of these topics.
Dominant postures during competitive athletic events are a problem when they are not countered during practice/training. They lead to muscle tension imbalance in opposing muscles or opposing groupd of muscles. Baseball pitchers are notoriously creating an in balance in the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder. The dominant motion of throwing a ball is rarely countered during the game. What would be the counter motion of that? Just picture the motion of throwing in reverse as if you played a video in rewind mode. The muscles responsible for that opposite motion become comparatively weak to the muscles of throwing the ball forward. This happens for many reasons but one reason is called reciprocal inhibition.
Reciprocal inhibition is a neurological path from the primary muscle of action to the brain and back down to inhibit the opposing muscle. For example the biceps and triceps actions oppose each other. So while contracting the biceps a message through the nerves to the triceps to relax and let the biceps do its job with out any triceps contraction to oppose it because any triceps contraction would make it harder for the biceps to do its work. You can consciously override the reciprocal inhibition which is seen when a bodybuilder on stage flexes his biceps to make it pop up in a sculpted peak keeping his/her elblow at ninety degrees of angle by consciously contracting the triceps to prevent reciprocal inhibition which would allow the body builders forearm to lay down on the peak of the biceps. Knowing all this, let’s talk about how reciprocal inhibition can become a problem.
The dominant muscles of throwing rarely get inhibited by the opposing motion of throwing backwards. Without any kind of inhibition muscles become shorter from a hyper contracted tone. The hyper contraction and tone of these muscles creates a Constant message of inhibition to the opposing muscles making them lengthen and weaken. As this condition becomes more severe it is easily seen in the posture of the shoulders. When left unchecked The dominating muscles eventually will lose their optimal performance. When this happens in the rotator cuff The joint experiences uneven pressures causing irritation to the cartilage and tendons. The firing sequence of the rotator cuff muscles becomes additive to the problem as a delay in muscle firing can also cause binding in the joint from specific muscles being “put to sleep” from reciprocal inhibition in overdrive.
Where do we go from here? Let’s send a little inhibition to the dominating muscles by prescribing specific exercises that counter the dominant motions of throwing a ball. In many cases this may only give partial relief due to the development of adhesions and triggerpoints in the dominant muscles. This is where The Fixer in Boca Raton uses massage techniques specifically designed and tailored to each individual case.
Using my special designed mobility massage techniques increaaed muscle function, length and strength can be achieved. With 27 years of chiropractic and massage experience the resulting Musclepractic techniques can get you throwing faster with less drama to the shoulder joint and rotator cuff. This technique applies to any joint in the body in regards to the abuse of dominating motions in any sport.
The Fixer – Dr. Cory Altabet -Boca Raton mobile massage therapist