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Are You Compensating?

muscle fascia Aug 29, 2019

At Journey, we never recommend something that we haven't tried or at least investigated thoroughly. 

Interestingly in this attached video you will see our very own Cyndy Barnes getting treated by a Physical Therapist that we often recommend.  The name of the Physical Therapist is Dr Chris Capilli.  In the video he teaches us that many times in life, the problem is not the problem. In fact, sometimes what reveals itself as pain is actually an indication of another problem.

When you're doing a lot of exercise, a lot of ballistic or jumping movement, it's very easy for a muscle to break down but your body is very smart, it wants to get from point A to point B and it still finds a way to do so. Even in the absence of muscles that are strong enough to do the thing that you are trying to do, your body will still find a way to get the job done.  The negative side effect is that we start to compensate, and by compensating we start to wear and tear muscles that are not used to taking that kind of load.

In terms of physical therapy, the sooner that you can see a physical therapist the better because if you have a hip issue or a low back issue, it may not present itself until later down the line, where now Cyndy's like, "Oh my foot's bothering me." A good physical therapist will look not only look at what is bothering you but will look for the root of the problem by looking at everything else to see if there's any other weaknesses.

Dr Capilli sees a lot of foot, ankle, shoulder and low back issues.  Most of the time the person has the issue come up from compensating for a weaker muscle. When you're working your shoulders out and  you're not in a proper position to be able to produce the contraction it leads to breaking down the muscle that's not used to doing that certain function. Ultimately you're putting abnormal stress on normal tissue and it can only do it for so long.  Dr Capillis says "here's a good analogy, if you're working a job and a coworker takes a week off and then the coworker doesn't come back and the boss says, "Hey, you have to do both jobs." You only can do that for so long, right? Until something breaks down or something happens and you need help.  That is how it works with your muscles.  

A unique thing about Dr Capilli is a treatment that he does called IASTM. It stands for instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization. Specifically he uses HawkGrips.  The concept behind using the tools is that he can actually get deeper through her skin, through her muscles than he can with his fingers.  He can work that muscle fascia that we talk so much about at Journey.  Dr Capilli looks for the restrictions within the tissue where the muscle fibers are sticking to themselves and he uses theses tools to relieve the restriction.

Dr Capilli suggests googling "The Fuzz Speech" for a greater understanding of muscle fascia and its role in our health. . This video talks about fascia and soft tissue and how it's so important first thing in the morning and throughout the day to allow your muscles to move and to glide because you have fluid that needs to assist in movement and if that doesn't occur, you're going to have restrictions. 

In summary if you don't want to be restricted and if you don't want to compensate then you need to do 3 things.  

  1. Analyze your body for weakness.  See a Coach of Physical Therapist if you want help with this.  
  2. Use proper form to avoid compensating.  Talk to a Journey coach if you are concerned you have been compensating with a certain exercise.
  3. And finally, keep moving to avoid restrictions. 

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