We all like to strive for a balanced lifestyle and to feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, due to the many pressures and demands of modern day activities / work set ups, we often find ourselves forming poor postural habits which take their toll on the body. Even the most dedicated yoga practitioner can develop muscle imbalance which can ultimately hinder progress and may even sometimes produce pain.
There are many groups of muscles surrounding the spine working together either as antagonists or as synergists to promote movement in flexion, extension, side bending and rotation. When an imbalance occurs possibly due to overuse or poor posture, the muscles which have become dominant will create a pull by overpowering the weaker side which, in time will move the bones out of their optimal alignment. In the spinal region we refer to this as a lesion (loss of function of a part). Extension lesions refer to vertebrae hindered or blocked in flexion and are most commonly found in the thoracic region. Flexion lesions refer to vertebrae hindered or blocked in extension and are most commonly found in the lumbar and cervical regions.
It is not uncommon to find many people presenting with some or all of these imbalances. What it does mean though is that a person is more prone to injury if the imbalance is not addressed. One may also find that certain movement patterns are no longer as easy to perform. For example, someone presenting with flexion lesions in L5-L1 will struggle to easily perform a back bending sequence in yoga.
As an advanced remedial therapist, I have the knowledge to assess and treat these imbalances as well as many other musculoskeletal problems.
Ali Milligan doing her thing in the mountains!