When Flexibility Goes Bad

Being flexible is not always a good thing.

Athletes, such as Dancers, Gymnasts, Figure Skaters, and Cheerleaders, demand extreme flexibility for their sport. The amount of stretch in their muscles and ligaments put them at risk of it causing more harm than good.

If flexibility is not matched with the same level of stability, it can cause issues and injury for athletes.

Let me explain how this can be dangerous. ACTIVE Motion is when you are controlling your movement with the use of your muscles. When a dancer extends one leg behind them, that is Active motion. PASSIVE Motion is when you are able to move your body even more with assistance of an outside force. For example, the dancer can reach behind and use passive motion to pull her leg even more toward her head.  

The goal of athletes should be to have ACTIVE and PASSIVE range of motion as close as possible. Because injury occurs when an athlete cannot control the extra movement in Passive motion.

At our office, we focus on developing stability, so an athlete can handle flexibility and prevent injury. We test for this at our chiropractic office by putting an athlete through a series of movement patterns to see which areas are weak, tight, or overactive. Then engage the nervous system in these areas through treatments and exercises to engage the muscles.

Three ways to know if you have a stability issue that may be affecting your sports performance:

  1. You have extreme inconsistency with motion. For example, you can’t touch your toes while standing, but you can reach them without issue while sitting or lying on your back. Or you can’t actively turn your neck so your chin can touch your shoulder, but if you push is with passive motion it does actually reach there.
  2. You cannot control a joint in your body with your muscle tone. Classic example is after you sprain your ankle and it feels like it might give out on you at times. This can happen anywhere you sustain an injury, including neck and back.
  3. Stability issues make themselves heard through symptoms such as clicking, popping, pain and stiffness, dislocation, and recurring injuries. Even if there is no pain yet, degeneration and excess wear and tear is forming which can lead to early arthritis.  

If you think you have a stability issue you really need to contact our office for an evaluation of where and how severe it may be. Our initial visit will test your structure, neurology, movement, and physical ability. You will learn exactly where your issue is that is causing you pain or dysfunction.

At Desired Health Chiropractic, our goal is to help athletes feel better, function better, and perform better. When you are ready to fix your health issue once and for all, we will help you get better faster!

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