Specific strengthening refers to identifying and targeting imbalances in muscle imbalances. This can range from general deconditioning and the need to strengthen major muscle groups to a very athletic person having isolated muscle imbalances that need to be addressed. Some muscles may be relatively weak and underused compared to others, and dysfunctional movement patterns can result. These dysfunctional movement patterns can lead to injury and chronic pain.
In addition, chronic pain and injuries typically result in muscle imbalances if they were not already present. Your physical therapist will identify and target your specific strength imbalances with targeted therapeutic exercise.
In addition to larger muscle groups, it is also important to address the smaller, deeper muscles that stabilize and protect the spine. These should be activating whenever you are walking, standing up from a chair, or reaching to pick up a glass of water. They are even more important to protect your spine when lifting something heavy. Ideally, these muscles should turn on automatically, without having to consciously think about it. However, they are often dysfunctional in people who have neck or back pain. If we discover this is an issue for you, we will teach you exercises to target these muscles so they can activate again, and you can start moving with less pain.