We all know someone who has had surgery and some of us have been through the experience personally. There are several signs that COULD indicate you are on a path to a potential soft-tissue injury, which could then lead to surgery. Hopefully, before you consider that option, look into physical therapy or some type of strengthening for the possibly weak area. Ideally, you can identify the problem before it escalates to that level.
Early Warning Signs
* After work outs you are experiencing soreness that is unequal (i.e. 1 leg is stiffer than the other).
* You are experiencing chronic soreness/pain in a particular area (or having headaches).
* You notice a range of motion (ROM) difference between the right and left side of a particular joint (i.e. 1 shoulder can raise up higher than the other, or reach further up your back).
Don't worry! There might be something you can do to avoid surgery. Sometimes it is as simple as massage, acupuncture, pilates, yoga or some type of strength training program with a personal trainer.
Unequal Soreness Post-Workout?
You may just need to pay more attention during your workout to form and particularly in weight-bearing exercise, where your center of gravity is. Placing more weight on the right or left leg or more to the front verses back of the body will drastically change what muscles are recruited and worked. You have hundreds of lower body muscles that are all working together (or not) to support your weight. The Wii gaming system has a balance board you can purchase to test your balance (and play games, do yoga with) and see where your center of gravity falls.
* This could simply be related to poor posture, how you are holding your body during the day.
* Pay attention to when you use the area that is in discomfort and if you are over-using it (i.e. If you have headaches, pay attention to head position, is it forward?)
* For a lot of people, some small changes in their daily routine can make a huge difference in how the body feels. Try brushing your teeth with the other hand and you will gain a respect for how well-trained the dominant hand is!
Range of Motion Difference?
If you notice this on the right side of the body verses the left, it is a good indicator that the limited side (less motion) has a lack of strength in the direction that it is limited. Try to feel the muscles that attach on that side of the joint and actively contract them. This could also lead to unequal soreness after exercise. To make corrections here you might want to consult with a Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist (MATcs) in your area.
MAT Specialists are experts in locating muscles in the body that have been inhibited by the central nervous system, leading to compensation. They can help re-train your motor system to utilize and strengthen those muscles once again. Click Here to learn more! It is this technique that I believe saved me from a potential back injury and potential herniated disc... After locating and strengthening very specific muscles and joint positions, my body now moves more effectively and with more integrity and less soft-tissue wear and tear.