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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov


Get your mind out of the gutter....

But now that I have your attention

Let's talk about muscular compensations

What is it?


Let's say we look at a particular movement pattern, such as lifting your arm up to reach for something on the top shelf

under normal circumstances, groups of muscles work together to support the arm and allow it to move in the desired direction, with the desired amount of force and stop the arm moving at the desired time/location in space.

All these things happen subconsciously with perfect timing like an orchestra

But sometimes, due to injury or repetitive activities, the correct coordination of muscles can become a little "skewed"

You'll be fine for a little while, but there's a common saying we use, which is:

"Compensations work, until they don't"

What this means is..

If a particular muscle has to compensate for a weakness in the system, it'll work for a while, but eventually, it may get a bit grumpy and cry out for attention... Which you might feel as a niggle or sore spot.

A question I always ask myself when assessing someone is:

"Yes, they tell me that (this spot) is sore when they do (this movement), but is that because the muscles in the area are working too hard, or not enough?"

This is where the fun detective work starts and we can hone in on the perfect treatment and exercise prescription that is tailored specifically to you.

Obviously, this is a simplified explanation

But hopefully, it gives a little bit of an idea about why your osteopath might look, for example, at the muscles in your lower back and hips when you booked in for your sore knee.

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