The last Total Outcomes Physio Surrey post introduced you to the idea that although you work hard to build muscle, there can be thieves present in your own body, which steal your strength. It’s unfair, it’s unjust, and it’s unappealing, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. This week we are going to cover the dastardly villain known as reciprocal inhibition.
Before I completely run down the character of reciprocal inhibition, I do need to concede that reciprocal inhibition can also be a force for good and not evil, but we’ll cover that in another post.
The evil side of reciprocal inhibition works this way, when you work a muscle through it’s full range of motion, the tightness of muscles on the opposite side of the joint can dial down the strength of the muscle that you are trying to work. In this case, ‘Reciprocal’ essentially means the muscle on the other side of the one that is worked and ‘inhibition’ refers to dialed down or switched off muscle activity via the nervous system.
So how can this make our lives just a little bit harder? Mostly by stealing what at Total Outcomes our Surrey physiotherapists call ‘positional strength.’ Did you know that the strength of a muscle changes based on the position that it is in? Let me ask you another thing, what positions do you need to be strong in to have success with what you do? Has anyone tested your positional strength or shown you how to regain it? If your answers are no, then you are in luck, because there are several ways for our physiotherapy clinic methodologies to help you.
Reciprocal inhibition, and other causes of positional weakness can be overcome, but we have to remember that there are thieves at work in our own bodies. The next Total Outcomes Physio Surrey post will introduce you to yet another involuntary process, in our body, that steals your strength, so until then … Train smart!