Muscles enable us to move. You wouldn’t blink an eye, smile or chew without muscles. Healthy muscles are strong. Strong muscles keep us active and able to accomplish life’s tasks. When muscles are in trouble, there will be problems with the joints. Muscles work in pairs and also in groups. When a core muscle like the psoas major is weak on one side and too tight/strong on the opposite side, you will lack mechanical balance. This lack of balance shows up as poor alignment of major parts of the body like the spine and pelvic girdle.
There are many signs that muscles are in trouble. You may notice pain, especially when there is a spasm. Pain is not always present in the early stages of muscle dysfunction. An orthopedic massage therapist will notice signs of dysfunction that you may miss. These signs include poor alignment of body parts, weakness in some muscles and loss of range of motion.
You will always know when a muscle is seriously injured. You may not notice when a muscle undergoes constant physical stress and strain from things like repetitive motion, poor posture, overweight, and compression forces. This is what fools many people. Pain often shows up late, not early, when a muscle is working under adverse conditions. By the time pain appears you may have a serious problem.
How can you improve your body awareness so that you do not miss the early signs of muscle dysfunction?
Look for these signs:
Your muscles fatigue sooner than they used to
You experience stiffness in movement
Your posture has gone to seed and you slump more than you used to
Your overall energy is lower than it used to me
You are losing strength
You are losing range of motion
Daily activities are more likely to cause pain
Activities like long distance driving, airplane travel, and prolonged sitting are likely to cause pain
Activities like gardening, housecleaning are likely to cause pain or stiffness
When it comes to maintaining the health of the body, awareness and early treatment are always the rule. The best time to see a medical or orthopedic massage therapist is when discomfort first shows up. That’s when the window is open wide for a quick turn-around. Early treatment means restoring your body to good function before you face a major challenge.