Muscle Balance - myth or physiological nonsense? Observations from functional arthromuscular diagnostics

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In many studies, muscular dysbalance is considered to be the cause of sports injuries and overuse symptoms. Conversely, therefore, muscular balance should be able to counteract injuries and overuse symptoms. But there is little practical information about what muscular balance really means and how it can be identified. For the ratio of the strength capabilities of agonists to antagonists, values are sometimes prevalent that have been consistent and confirmed in many studies, but which lack both functional significance and physiological relevance. The hamstring to quadriceps ratio is one of these persistently utilized traits for the estimation of muscle balance around the knee joint neglegting the evidence of its unfunctional contemplation of the muscular situation and disregarding current insights into intermuscular coordination and the intramuscular work conditions. The latter warrant insight into injury mechanisms and constitute valuable, functional and meaningful indeces of agonist - antagonist interactions.
Besides to the muscular agonist - antagonist ratios we reiteratively find diagnostic indications of lateral dysbalances in the field of competitive sports. Differences between dominant and not dominant limb sides of over 30% are frequently reported even in sports where both body sides are equally contributing to the underlying performance. Here the question consistently arises to what extent these imbalances take shape as tolerable, sport-specific or injury-relevant. This is made even more difficult by the fact that there are no comparative values for some very relevant muscle groups such as hip abductors or shoulder stabilising muscles. The indicators of muscular balance around the knee joint provide some orientation. Derived from this, it can be seen that the expression of the muscular abilities of the antagonists under eccentric contraction conditions at high speeds of movement is highly predictive of a dysbalance around a joint. They also a strong relation to sports injuries such as cruciate ligament and muscle fiber ruptures and overuse smptoms such as shoulder impingement syndrome or pubic bone irritation.
Still the underlying algorithms need to be validated with reference to their predictive power and prospective potential.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDeutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin
Volume2020
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)4
Number of pages1
ISSN0344-5925
Publication statusPublished - 02.2020

ID: 5160101

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