Structural balance

The body moves and functions as a dynamic integrated system. Dysfunction in one area of the body can result in compensation and altered movement patterns in another area. This results in secondary areas of dysfunction and symptoms. Treatment to eradicate the symptoms without addressing the underlying core issue is not effective. The symptoms (the physical manifestation of the imbalance) may temporarily be suppressed, however eventually symptoms may return (in the same area or in a secondary area). Treatment targeting symptom eradication alone is akin to turning off the fire alarm without putting out the fire.

Our habitual postures and compensatory patterns become ‘locked’ into our connective tissue over time. In certain areas the connective tissue is shortened, while in other areas it become over-lengthened. The muscles in these areas struggle to function in an over-lengthened position. Muscles may either become inhibited or over facilitated. Soft tissue imbalance eventually leads to a variety of conditions such as repetitive strain injuries and joint problems due to altered biomechanics and inappropriate loading.

The neurological system coordinates movement, regulates muscle tone, determines our perception of pain, influences circulation and modulates inflammatory responses. Movement patterns are stored in the brain as ‘programs’, hence we never forget how to ride a bicycle. This is beneficial when the ‘program’ is appropriate. Compensatory movement patterns during injury may be appropriate to offload the area and prevent further damage to the tissues, however problems arise if the compensation remains after the injury has healed.

A structural balance addresses musculoskeletal imbalances and issues such as maladaptive muscle recruitment and movement patterns, inhibition or over facilitation of muscles, fascial restriction, abnormal neurodynamics and neural sensitivity, strength deficits, postural compensations, repetitive strain, joint problems and other soft tissue injuries.

These sessions may include a variety of treatment options such as:

  • spinal and peripheral joint mobilization/manipulation
  • myofascial release and trigger point release
  • neural mobilization and desensitization
  • dry needling
  • posture and gait correction
  • correction of muscle imbalances
  • optimizing muscle recruitment patterns
  • exercise rehabilitation (strength and flexibility)
  • wedging (rebalancing the body using customized temporary wedges in the shoes)

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