Injuries can occur anywhere and at anytime, but the most prevalent place of occurrence is in the workplace. The reason for such a high rate of injury is that people spend 8-18 hours a day, 5-7 days a week performing unidirectional (one-way) movement patterns, causing an imbalance in the musculoskeletal system that results in the overuse and under use of certain muscle groups. If left unchecked, these injuries can be come chronic, resulting in pain and dysfunction that can last for years.
Usually, when one muscle group is overused, the opposing muscle group, acting as a stabilizer, becomes underused. When this imbalance establishes itself in the musculoskeletal system, the body does not function as designed. Instead of muscles working together to perform a specified function, they work against each other, causing the body to exert more energy to perform the same task that previously was perceived by the body as “simple”.
When muscles become too short and tight, they lose their strength as they are in a chronic semi-contracted state and cannot contract (shorten) efficiently due to being pre-fatigued and the fact that they are already in a state where they are too short for proper function. If a muscle is already in a shortened, semi-contracted state, it cannot contract, or shorten very far. And the farther a muscle can contract (shorten) and move, the greater the strength and endurance the muscle will have. Chronically tight, restrictive muscles just don’t function very well and they impinge structures around and beneath them such as nerves and blood vessels, causing disorders like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome and many other associated Repetitive Strain injuries. Short muscles also pull bones out of alignment, which causes a joint imbalance, often resulting in severe pain and dysfunction.
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