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African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Prevalence and distribution of muscle-imbalance in the human body: A review

J.M. Loots, Maureen Loots, B.J.M. Steyn

Abstract


For more than a century it has been recognized that variations from normal in the anatomy and biomechanics of man may have a practical bearing on medical problems. In this paper an aspect of this kind of deviation namely muscle-imbalance, is reviewed. Muscle-imbalance could be defined as a specific movement dysfunction, which manifests itself in muscles that tend to become tight, or short and hypertonic and are readily activated in most movement patterns. Other muscles react by inhibition, inhibition atrophy and weakness. Muscle groups can functionally be divided into muscles prone to tightness and those prone to weakness. The phenomenon of muscle imbalance is pandemic, and may contribute to problems such as poor posture, low back pain. Significant is the fact that muscle imbalance may influence the motor patterning process.


Key words: Muscle imbalance, low back pain, posture, malposture, withdrawal response.


(Af. J. Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2002 8(1): 49-60)



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