What's Better? Ligaments or Muscles?
We've all hurt ourselves fooling around as a kids, teens, or even as adults. But what really happens when we throw out our back, twist an ankle, sprain a knee, separate a shoulder, or break a bone?
Dynamic Stabilization vs. Static Stabilization
When we hurt ourselves our bodies go through an inflammatory response cycle which can create tissue death. When our tissues die our static and dynamic stabilizers take the brunt of it. We end up with instability in our joints due to muscular atrophy (when our muscles decrease in size and reaction time) and a decreased amount of balance and coordination ensues as a result. This lack of balance and coordination can lead to further injury in the future.
Ligaments, fibrocartilage, and joint capsules all create static stabilizers meaning they do not posses the ability to contract in the same way our dynamic stabilizers do which include our muscles and tendons. Now why am I going on about this... well remember that time you hurt yourself?
For example... If I'm a runner and long ago I twisted my ankle and did not take proper action to heal my swollen ankle joint my static stabilizers are most likely not doing there job so well (preventing my ankle from rolling over again). Over time this can have devastating effects and after 20 years of running i'm dealing with chronic ankle pain and I can't exercise the way I want to!
SO! my dynamic stabilizers, which include the muscles and tendons surrounding the ankle joint, must be trained in such a way that the amount of time it takes for our muscles to send a signal back up to our spine, into our brain, get processed, then shoot the signal back down through our spine, and to our ankle happens fast enough to contract our muscles to prevent our ankle from rolling over again! This skips the need for static stabilizers at all. Ever wonder how some people say "oh yea I don't have an ACL but I can still run. It's because there muscles are strong enough to act as a pseudo ACL.
If your ligaments are not healthy and you do not do the proper rehabilitation associated with strengthening your muscles to help support those joints you can be sure that over time through the degenerative effects of this great thing called life that you will surely increase your risk of further injury, joint osteoarthritis, muscle tears, and a slew of other problems.
So I ask you... are you doing everything you're supposed to to ensure your favorite activity isn't causing you pain? If your struggling to get back to the activities you love for fear that you'll hurt yourself doing them and you don't know where to start. Shoot me an e-mail.