What can go wrong if you don’t strengthen these muscles?
When I first started training to become a Sports Therapist, all those years ago one of the first lessons the tutor taught us was about,“CORE STABILITY” believe it or not folks it starts in the Pelvis, Glutes, not as it seems to be recently the trend has taken an upward motion, though I know for sure that the human body has not changed that much.
If you look at a soldier standing at ease he is in the Perfect Body Stable Position , he is expected to stand sometimes for hours, so why would we think that our stability, comes from any further up in our body than where our legs end.
It seems we have put a lot more attention on our Trunk Musculature, particularly the contribution of the Transversus Abdominis and Multifidus. Guys we all would like the Six Pack, but Core Stability is not based on this alone. So what is the use of a six pack, if you cannot guarantee functional stability and control of the trunk that depends on the foundations which carry and support it?
We need to look a bit lower down to the group of muscle around the Pelvis these are the muscles that provide primary support, these muscles are not much appreciated they are the Gluteal Muscles, they play a major role in Trunk Stability and be sure, that the implications that may result in terms of injury through weakness of these muscles, may make you think again about where your main stability of your body is.
The Gluteus Maximus is a very large muscle with wide Pelvic Attachments; it contributes greatly to Powerful Hip Extension, the explosive thrust that is needed for, sprinting, jumping to the Strong Hip Control needed for squatting, cycling or tennis, or in martial arts for doing the perfect throw
In the main points of the Bio-Mechanics of the body the Gmax is the one that has several different rolls.
It controls the connective relationship between the Femur, Pelvis and the Trunk, to influence the Vertical Trunk through its bonny attachments, along the Ilium’s Posterior Superior surface, the Dorsal surface of the Sacrum and Greater Trochanter, it does this by rotating the Pelvis, over the Femoral head, in weight bearing. When it is acting as an extensor of the Hip the Gmax can work concentrically “muscles fibres’ contract to shorten “, but to propel the body forward over a fixed foot as in gait, or eccentrically “muscle fibres’ to contract but during the lengthening” in the same way as you would need to control hip flexion when doing a lung or a squat.
What does this mean in your everyday life, if you are not an athlete?
What can go wrong if you don’t strengthen these muscles? The answer is a lot!
The Relationship from the Gmax to the Knee & Hip
The Gmax has both lateral rotation and abduction influences on the Femur, this controls the knee with respect to the Pelvis and the ankle, so it influences the amount of stress on the Patellofemoral Joint, Medial Collateral Ligament and you may guess this one the Medial Meniscus. To explain this; if you step up Gmax will exert an external rotation and abduction force to keep the Knee in optimal alignment with the Hip and Ankle, while at the same time extending the Hip to press the body upward. If the Gluteal group is week or underactive the Knee will move medially causing extensive wear & tear on the Knee area and considerable pain, the Pelvis will tip laterally causing Hip and Back pain. When this happens it will not be long before the Knee is put under abnormal strain due to poor alignment, become painful and in the end may need the Meniscus removed.(See Bretts Knee). Or if it has got to the point of bone on bone Arthritis will set in and a Knee replacement may be needed. This has become a common operation these days
Now we come to the big one and a problem for so many people is the Gmax, in Relationship, to the Sacroiliac Joint.
Weakness in the Gmax will predispose the Sacroiliac joint to injury, I could go into all the technical detail, but it would take so long and you want answers, in a nutshell the Gmax affects the Latissimus Dorsi and the Myofascial Slings that store and release elastic energy, therefore providing stability when under tension and increasing movement efficiency. By forming a diagonal connection across the Pelvis and Lumbar Spine the Posterior Oblique Sling increases the Sacroiliac Joints compression to help support the body weight in a single leg stance. So if these muscles are weekend the body will have to compensate to protect itself, this will affect other functions of the body and body orientation is affected, your Bio mechanicals are then out, compromising the deep trunk of the body to the Shoulder the Scapula which affects the Humerus during weight bearing movement and the problems just keep coming, affecting each muscle group.
The Gmax and the Hamstrings
The Gmax is the main central link in the vertical chain comprising the Para spinals, Gluteus Maximus and Hamstring groups, each of these groups has an extensor function and should work in a coordinated partnership with other in the chain, but if the Gmax is week it will cause the others to fail in the link, very much a domino effect. Again the body has to compensate, in some cases the result is the other muscle groups becoming over-active and firing when they should not be doing so, “Muscle Martyrs”as they are known, do not take this extra work load well, they become chronically tight and susceptible to injury “many horse riders, jockeys can suffer from this problem”.
You may not realise this, but your Gmax can also be the problem with lots of other related issues, as it is the Hamstrings and Gmax that coordinate your gait cycle. Normally your Hamstrings will activate just prior to heel strike, to increase stabilisation of the Sacroiliac Joint, but if the Gmax is week the Hamstrings stay active, again we are looking at abnormal strain causing injury to Knee, Hip, Pelvis Groin, Lower Back and Shoulder pain.
If you are suffering from any Muscular problems, please don’t leave it, you owe it to yourself to be well.
At Getfitstayfit Norfolk
- We believe talking with the client in the initial consultation is essential.
- Taking a history of our client’s problems to help us to see how and why the problem occurred and to get to the root cause.
- It is essential when treating a client that we have a historical back ground, as the injury may be a result of a deeper problem. That could have happened in previous months or years, some people live with pain for years, they try to adjust by masking symptoms, but eventually with time it catches back up with them.
- Working out a treatment plan together with our client
- Continuing communication is absolute as a client may remember something at a later date that can be very relevant.
- So along with sports massage and the aid of the Bioneuro Sigma Q (∑Q®) we can do our best to help them be their best.