Many of us are moving around from one location to another. When we are on our feet all the time, it can cause the muscles of the lower extremity to become tight and ache that we need to sit down and rest. When the body is resting, our posture tends to be hunched over, and it causes the postural muscles to over-stretch and cause pain when we get up from our rested position. Whether sitting on the couch or a chair, our posture tends to be reclined where it may seem comfortable, but it causes pain to our musculoskeletal system in our neck, shoulders, and back. To that point, when we get out of the reclined position, it can also affect the legs, calves, and feet. Today’s article focuses on the postural muscles, how postural pain affects the gastrocnemius-soleus muscles, and how MET treatment can help the postural muscles. We utilize valuable information about our patients to certified medical providers using MET treatment to mitigate postural effects on the musculoskeletal system. We encourage and refer patients to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis while supporting that education is a remarkable and fantastic way to ask our providers the essential questions at the patient’s acknowledgment. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., comprises this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
What Are The Postural Muscles?
Have you been dealing with low back pain? What about feeling a tingling or numbing sensation down your calves or feet? Or do your back muscles constantly ache from sitting down for long periods? Many of these are signs and symptoms that you are experiencing pain in your postural muscles. Studies reveal that the postural muscles interact between the musculoskeletal system and the central nervous system’s afferent and efferent pathways. In the human body, three curves maintain mobility, stability, and balance to resist longitudinal pressures: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. The postural muscles work with the lower body extremities to support the weight of the upper body extremities. Additional research shows that postural stability and balance control are interlinked with a dynamic process and allow the muscles in the lower portions of the body, like the legs and calf, to help stabilize the upper body’s weight. We will look at the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles as they help maintain good posture, balance, and stability.
Postural Pain Affects The Gastrocnemius-Soleus Muscles
Repetitive motions associated with environmental factors can cause the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles to shorten and cause symptoms of muscle weakness, cramping, and instability in calves and legs. The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles have a beautiful relationship as they help form the calf muscles that allow movement and stability to the entire body. Now how would postural pain affect these muscles? According to research studies, when numerous factors start to affect the body’s posture, whether it is prolonged standing, sitting, bending, twisting, or awkward positions, it causes muscle strain to the body, and it can cause negative effects on the surrounding muscles. For example, say you are in an awkward position and start to feel a numbing sensation down to your legs and low back pain. When you release your body from the uncomfortable position, the blood flow and neuron signals will go haywire as the blood tries to get the muscles working again, and the signals are trying to reach back to the brain.
The Root Cause Of Pain- Video
Do your legs feel heavy constantly? Are you experiencing balancing issues when walking? Or have you been experiencing pain in your lower back, and it’s traveling down to your legs? If you are dealing with these issues, it could result from postural pain associated with your calves’ gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Poor posture causes numerous pain-like symptoms, leading to muscle weakness or numbness in the legs and calves. When this happens, it can lead to instability and mobility issues that can turn into chronic conditions if not treated immediately. The video above explains how numerous factors can cause pain, leading to underlying musculoskeletal conditions that can cause the body to be misaligned. Luckily all is not lost, as there are multiple treatments to reduce pain and realign the body out of subluxation. Treatments like MET therapy, chiropractic care, and physical and nutritional therapy can help many individuals with pain-like symptoms. They can help stretch, lengthen, and reduce the effects of postural pain.
MET Treatment On The Postural Muscles
When it comes to reducing pain in the postural muscles, many individuals will find ways to treat the pain. In “Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques,” authors Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., and Judith Walker Delany, L.M.T., state that when it comes to reducing pain in both the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, many pain specialists use muscle energy techniques or MET to help treat the soft tissues that surround the calves by using stretching techniques and isometric contractions to lengthen the shortened muscles that are causing the calves to cramp. Utilizing MET treatment on the postural muscles allows the affected muscles to be stretched gently and, combined with other therapies, can prevent future injuries from reoccurring. Additionally, it will enable the individual to be more mindful of their posture to avoid these issues from escalating.
Overall, it is important to ensure that having a good posture can prevent issues from affecting the lower portions of the body and causing pain in the calf muscles. When the calf muscles begin to deal with pain, it can cause the individual to be unstable and lose their balance. Incorporating soft tissue therapies like MET allow the muscles to be stretched and relaxed while restoring blood flow to the legs and help many individuals walk without feeling pain.
Carini, Francesco, et al. “Posture and Posturology, Anatomical and Physiological Profiles: Overview and Current State of Art.” Acta Bio-Medica : Atenei Parmensis, 28 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6166197/.
Chaitow, Leon, and Judith Walker DeLany. Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques. Churchill Livingstone, 2003.
Ludwig, Oliver, et al. “Neuromuscular Performance of Balance and Posture Control in Childhood and Adolescence.” Heliyon, 31 July 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7398941/.
Swain, Christopher T V, et al. “No Consensus on Causality of Spine Postures or Physical Exposure and Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews.” Journal of Biomechanics, 26 Mar. 2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31451200/.
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The information herein on "MET Treatment Of The Postural Muscles" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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