Muscle Activation Techniques
In addition to these exercises, Muscle Activation Techniques (commonly referred to as MAT) can help decrease muscle stress and pain caused by weakened hips. One of the first things an MAT specialist will check for during the initial Range of Motion exam is imbalances and limitations in this area.
Because the hips can affect motion in the lower body, trunk and spine, limitations in the hips can cause problems nearly anywhere in the body. If one of the hip muscles is not working as well as it should be, another muscle will be compensating for it. For example, a sore knee, weak foot, stiff back or tense shoulder can all be caused by the hip. Often the area that we feel pain or discomfort is completely different than the root of the problem.
Starting with simple movements first, the MAT specialist will have the client lay face up on a massage table and rotate their hips through the legs in inward and outward motions. If the client is unable to rotate one leg as far as the other, the specialist will do muscles tests to the interlinked muscles to determine which one has been compromised. The client will be asked to hold certain positions with resistance to determine which muscle or muscles are weakened.
The specialist will then complete precise palpations to this selected muscle. By isolating the muscle and applying light pressure using Muscle Activation Techniques, muscle function can be restored.
In addition, the Range of Motion test will assess limitations by moving the hips in a variety of ways through the legs, both straight and bent, internal and external rotations. Often, just one limitation is focused on in each MAT session, however, the treatment is largely dependent upon the person's individual issues and needs. It may take several Muscle Activation Techniques sessions to fully restore muscle functioning for specific limitations.Strengthen your muscles at a fitness class.
Kate Allgood, MAT, SH is president of Balanced Bodyworks, a Southern California-based business that enhances and improves mental and physical health and performance. Services include Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT), which corrects muscular imbalances to relieve pain and boost functioning, and sport hypnosis, which improves athletic performance through visualization and reinforcement techniques. Allgood is also an elite athlete, previously recognized as one of Canada's best female athletes. For more information, visit http://www.balanced-bodyworks.com or call 858-344-5335.