Muscle Weakness & Imbalance
Muscle weakness and imbalance can result from different types of neurological and neuromuscular conditions such as stroke, nerve injury, impingement, multiple sclerosis or a multitude of other nerve or muscle injuries. Frequently this weakness and imbalance could result from poor posture, improper exercise, or a lack of exercise. Sitting at a desk for a majority of the day with poor posture may increase weakness causing a lengthening of the muscles in the upper back and between the shoulder blades. Sitting with shoulders forward and the head and neck down will also result in the shortening of the muscles in the chest wall.
If these muscles are held in that compromising position (i.e. sitting at a desk for a prolonged period), the back muscles will remain in a weakened, overstretched state. In addition the muscles in the chest wall will remain in a contracted, shortened state. This muscle weakness and imbalance will continue even after leaving the desk for the day. In turn the biomechanics of the shoulder joint, neck, and upper back will be altered resulting in neck and upper back pain. The improper functioning of these areas which are necessary for movement in sports related activity and daily life increases overall risk of injury.
Muscle imbalance creates poor stabilization of the joint, but can be reversed by preventative conditioning and strengthening of the weakened muscles. Despite the long term effects of this postural issue, one can correct this imbalance with specific exercises focused on strengthening the weaker and overstretched muscles in the back while at the same time stretching the constricted muscles of the chest wall. The goal is to restore the muscle balance by preventative conditioning, strengthening, and stretching. With adequate and effective training, pain and discomfort from postural imbalance can be relieved.