by Valerie Hauser, DPT
It’s a simple fact: no human body is symmetrical. All of our systems—neurological, respiratory, circulatory, muscular, and visual—have asymmetries. For example, we have our heart on the left side,our liver on the right side, an extra lobe on our right lung, different functions of the right and left brain hemispheres, etc. All of these asymmetries can lead to dominant overuse resulting in patterns of weakness and disuse. 1 Take a second to clasp your hands together, or cross one leg over the other. Now switch legs, or switch which thumb is on top when your hands are clasped. One probably feels more “normal” than the other, right? This demonstrates how, over the course of our lives, we develop asymmetric neurological dominance in everything we do.
Postural Restoration and Pain
How does this design relate to injury or pain? When these normal imbalances are not corrected during our everyday activity, we develop structural weakness, instabilities and musculo-skeletal pain syndromes.1 Because of this, our bodies—being amazingly designed as they are—compensate in one of more areas of the trunk, upper extremity, neck, or jaw, creating torque in our soft tissue and leading to chronic muscle overuse, inflammation, and pain. 2 Add these compensatory patterns to the specific, repetitive demands of work, sports, and life in general, and you have the components necessary to create a new injury, or to repeat a chronic injury over and over again.
The key to avoiding and/or resolving such issues is to regulate imbalances with a counterbalancing or reciprocal, alternating activity. The Postural Restoration Institute® has identified and classified these asymmetries (imbalances) and dominances (stronger sides or movements) and uses a battery of tests, measurements, and observations in order to develop an individualized exercise program that retrains the body and regains efficient and more balanced movement. These programs implement correct breathing and specific exercises in order to coordinate the inhibition and activation of certain chains of muscle and restore efficient mechanics, getting you back to activities you love to do!
For a Postural Restoration® evaluation and treatment program, come see Valerie Hauser, PT, DPT, CSCS, at 1st Choice Sports Rehab. For more information about the Postural Restoration Institute® visit www.posturalrestoration.com.
- Postural Restoration Institute. (2016). Basic concepts of the Postural Restoration Institute. Postural respiration – an integrated approach to treatment of patterned thoraco-abdominal pathomechanics, p. xii.
- Postural Restoration Institute. (2016). The left anterior interior chain pattern. Postural respiration – An integrated approach to treatment of patterned thoraco-abdominal pathomechanics, p. vii.
Valerie Hauser holds a BS in Kinesiology and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is currently training with the Postural Restoration Institute®. She enjoys working with athletes of all levels and uses her experience to help reduce pain, build strength, and restore optimal function for all her patients. For more information, or to schedule an evaluation with her, call 404-377-0011.