by: Anthony Campo
The culture and lifestyle most of us live in have us building chemical and physical imbalances in the body starting from a very young age. How many people do you know that CANNOT begin their day without some caffeine? This is a chemical imbalance the body has developed that can affect many aspects of the body such as hormone balance. Physically we develop muscular imbalances through the adaptation of poor neuromuscular motor plans. Unfortunately, we usually wait for an injury or disorder to occur in order to begin looking at the problem. Even then, all too often the imbalances are not identified, and symptoms get treated instead of the actual problem causing the symptoms. Most of my blogs are concerned with teaching you how to “do it yourself.” However, the identification of imbalances along with the development of a protocol to address these imbalances is an extremely in-depth topic. The purpose of this post is to get one familiar with the idea that the risk for injuries and diseases can go down drastically with the training and treatment of imbalances that have been identified. Many times physicians spend a lot of time on chemical imbalances, but do not have a strong background in neuromuscular imbalances. This is a field best fit for a physical therapist that specialized in the area, or a trainer and strength coach with a strong kinesiology and neuro background. As a personal trainer, and physical therapy student I have developed a number of assessments that can help to identify imbalances. This can serve a multitude of purposes. For someone already suffering from pain, dysfunction, or an injury, these assessments can help to identify the cause of the symptoms. This will put you on path for the best possible recovery, with the lowest chance of re-injury. In someone that is symptom free, these assessments can help identify imbalances that may pose future problems that would put an individual at a higher risk for injury. I have addressed the basis for many of these assessments in prior articles Squat Mechanics for the Beginner, Proper Pushups, Proper Lunges. Identifying something simple as a glute weakness imbalance might be the key to avoiding painful arthritis and knee replacement surgery.