To get at the ultimate cause of a person’s dysfunction, one must look at the muscle imbalances that may be present around a painful joint. Muscles can be short and strong or long and weak. Picture a body builder – their muscles are generally large and tight – movement can be difficult due to the size and stiffness of the muscle. If strengthening activities are only performed on a muscle, then the muscle will get stronger and tighter. Flexibility exercises must also be incorporated into any strengthening program.
Skilled physical therapy evaluation can detect muscle imbalances and relative flexibility issues and prescribe appropriate simple home exercises to counteract the imbalance. This approach greatly helps to reduce the likelihood of recurrences.