What are Weak Links Anyway

January 9, 2014 10:11am | CORE PT & MC | by CORE Movement Specialists  

If you’ve searched around the CORE website or have had the pleasure of seeing one of our Movement Specialists, chances are you’ve heard us talk about “weak links” that are found throughout the body.  Movement control and our bodies can be very complicated, so here’s the scoop on “weak links” and how CORE tackles them.  CORE uses the term “weak link” to describe a region in your body that has poorly controlled motion and is at risk for pain or disability.  “Weak links” are often caused by 1) control muscles that aren’t doing their job sufficiently or 2) some type of restriction.  In many cases it is a combination of these factors.     

A Muscle Problem

Pain changes how our body moves and disadvantages the control muscles of our body much more than the power muscles of our body.  During pain or injury, our bodies compensate in order to relieve pain and maintain function.  For example, if a runner begins to experience knee pain their immediate reaction is likely to alter their stride in an attempt to unload the knee pain.  In essence the brain finds another way to move to decrease the knee pain and while this compensation strategy may be effective in the short term 1) it doesn’t address the muscle imbalance that lead to the knee pain and 2) it can load adjacent tissues at the hip or foot with excessive stress.  Sometimes, the brain continues the less than ideal movement pattern even after all pain subsides and thus you have “weak links” or regions at risk for injury in your movement system.  Yes, many of you reading this blog are unaware of the “weak links” in your system.  You may be completely pain free and even functioning at a level that satisfies you.  However “weak links” can lie dormant until just the right amount of stimulus causes a tipping point and pain makes you very aware of their presence.

At CORE we use The Performance Matrix platform to screen your body for “weak links” even before they become painful.  Once identified, we will help you train to maximize the efficiency of your control muscles to alleviate your “weak link” and decrease your risk for injury.  For most individuals, regaining control of your “weak link” takes about 4-6 weeks with additional strength benefits taking up to 10-12 weeks.   

Restriction

Restrictions can also be the driving factor behind a “weak link.”  Restrictions are like road blocks in your ideal movement pattern that you have to deviate around.  That deviation creates stress on another tissue and over time it can become painful and alter your function.  For example, in today’s world technology is everywhere. Everyday people are typing on their computers or texting on their phones which can put the shoulders in a forward or rounded position.  Repetitive positioning here can lead to muscles and ligaments tightening around the shoulder and thereby limit ideal movement at the shoulder, upper back or even the neck. Manual techniques and active stretching can help your body loosen up those restrictions so that you can prevent pain, restore efficient muscle function and  perform at your best whether it’s in the office or on the soccer field.

Are you dealing with a “weak link”? There’s no need to wonder about the state of your movement health.  The Performance Matrix tool will identify those “weak links” and our movement specialists will get you moving at your best. To schedule your screen, call our office at 913.322.4000 or schedule online.

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