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Has anybody suffered from pain/chronic pain due to a muscle imbalance?

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Has anybody suffered from pain/chronic pain due to a muscle imbalance?

Old 12-08-15, 10:08 PM
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ParkingTheBus
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Has anybody suffered from pain/chronic pain due to a muscle imbalance?

I'm not sure where to post this, but I thought here would be good. I just want some stories/opinions...

I'm only 22 and I've been having chronic pain for 2 years. In the past couple months, it's gotten quite bad, to the point where I've stopped all physical activity and even considered quitting my job. I have pain in my shoulders, right shoulder blade, lower back, knees and legs. Most of the pain is on the right side however it can flare up on both.

When I walk, run or stand for too long, my tibia/knee area starts to hurt on the right leg. My right hamstring and quads are also extremely tight which has affected my gait. I also sporadic pain in my groin and I notice that when I'm biking, my right leg moves a lot slower than my left.

I went to a physiotherapist and he gave me a bit of info... He said that a lot of this was due to a misfiring glute. My right glute is weak and as a result my whole body is thrown off. My lower back compensates for lifting and bending while my hamstrings are put under unescesarry stress to compensate as well.

Any advice or similar stories?
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Old 12-09-15, 04:38 AM
  #2  
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Yes, I have had chronic pain in my upper back & shoulder region for 20+ years as the result of a scoliosis (bent spine). However, when it became acute an ER physician diagnosed it as "degenerative bone disease'.

I addition, almost two years ago now I developed a Piriformis syndrome from a 'piriformis stretch' during a Pilates Class. The result was: because the nerves that innervate the muscles of the leg run past and even through the muscles that stabilize the hip (such as the piriformis) -- when those muscles are inflamed they pinch those nerves and impact the muscles all the way down the leg -- the result being pain and muscle weakness and, after a time, muscle atrophy.

For me that has resulted a chronic pain as well as atrophy of the outer lateral quad as well the muscle running down the front of my calf (which helps lift the foot and stabilizes the foot & ankle while walking). In addition I have some atrophy of the right gluteal medius.

I found it very difficult to receive effective treatment for this condition because of a general lack of understanding of the muscle and nervous systems. I went through 3 physicians and a PT who all claimed "it's just a bad back" before I found one who took an MRI which showed the injury to hip muscles. He and another physician diagnosed it as Piriformis Syndrome and prescribed PT -- but the PT rejected the evidence and claimed it was just a bad back as the result of a weak core. After 3 months I changed PTs to that one treated the actual injury and both the strength and pain in those muscles improved -- but that whole process took over a year!

And, in addition, after visiting with a physiatrist, in addition to continuing the PT stretches and strengthening exercises, I recently added neuro-muscular e-stim (which is a super powerful tens unit) which has almost completely removed all of the pain. She is not sure how much of that therapy is simply reducing the symptoms and how much it is 'waking up' the muscle and reconnecting it with the nerves that innervate it.

I apologize for that long story. But, my point is: I had a HUGE amount of trouble finding a physician or a therapist who was willing or able to diagnose it correctly and/or to treat it effectively. Most, because they didn't understand problem, defaulted to a problem that they DID understand -- even though that was not my problem! In total I have seen 5 physicians and 3 therapists seeking ones who could provide correct and effective diagnosis and treatment.

My advice is: listen to your body and trust your instincts - and take this seriously because a pinched nerve has very serious long term consequences. And, be persistent with the health care providers. If you are not getting the information, diagnosis or treatment that seems correct and effective, move on to the next.

At this point, after a 2 year struggle, I can say that the problem is probably 95% resolved. Best of luck to you!

Last edited by GeorgeBMac; 12-09-15 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 12-09-15, 05:01 PM
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Muscle imbalance is the usual reason for knee pain. IME lack of exercise is the ordinary reason for most other muscle and joint pain. You can fix all this by joining a gym and working out 2-3 times/week. If you want guidance for what to do there, this book is as good as any, better than most: Body By Design Book: Make Your Dream Body A Reality!

I don't think you can bicycle these problems away. Cycling several times a week is still a good idea because it will work out the muscles which you are bringing to life in the gym. For glute work, it's hard to beat squats. To equalize leg and glute muscles, one legged presses on a leg sled or leg press machine are the way to go. To equalize knee muscles, the leg extension machine, operated only through a 120-180 arc, is the best. For upper body pain, dumbells exercises rather than using barbells are the way to go.

If the pain in your shoulders is from impingement: Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Symptoms, Treatments, Causes, and More
then there's a book for that too: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003ICWIUM/
I've been using Dr. Kirsch's treatment and it has worked, when no other PT had much of an effect.
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Old 12-09-15, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac
Yes, I have had chronic pain in my upper back & shoulder region for 20+ years as the result of a scoliosis (bent spine). However, when it became acute an ER physician diagnosed it as "degenerative bone disease'.

I addition, almost two years ago now I developed a Piriformis syndrome from a 'piriformis stretch' during a Pilates Class. The result was: because the nerves that innervate the muscles of the leg run past and even through the muscles that stabilize the hip (such as the piriformis) -- when those muscles are inflamed they pinch those nerves and impact the muscles all the way down the leg -- the result being pain and muscle weakness and, after a time, muscle atrophy.

For me that has resulted a chronic pain as well as atrophy of the outer lateral quad as well the muscle running down the front of my calf (which helps lift the foot and stabilizes the foot & ankle while walking). In addition I have some atrophy of the right gluteal medius.

I found it very difficult to receive effective treatment for this condition because of a general lack of understanding of the muscle and nervous systems. I went through 3 physicians and a PT who all claimed "it's just a bad back" before I found one who took an MRI which showed the injury to hip muscles. He and another physician diagnosed it as Piriformis Syndrome and prescribed PT -- but the PT rejected the evidence and claimed it was just a bad back as the result of a weak core. After 3 months I changed PTs to that one treated the actual injury and both the strength and pain in those muscles improved -- but that whole process took over a year!

And, in addition, after visiting with a physiatrist, in addition to continuing the PT stretches and strengthening exercises, I recently added neuro-muscular e-stim (which is a super powerful tens unit) which has almost completely removed all of the pain. She is not sure how much of that therapy is simply reducing the symptoms and how much it is 'waking up' the muscle and reconnecting it with the nerves that innervate it.

I apologize for that long story. But, my point is: I had a HUGE amount of trouble finding a physician or a therapist who was willing or able to diagnose it correctly and/or to treat it effectively. Most, because they didn't understand problem, defaulted to a problem that they DID understand -- even though that was not my problem! In total I have seen 5 physicians and 3 therapists seeking ones who could provide correct and effective diagnosis and treatment.

My advice is: listen to your body and trust your instincts - and take this seriously because a pinched nerve has very serious long term consequences. And, be persistent with the health care providers. If you are not getting the information, diagnosis or treatment that seems correct and effective, move on to the next.

At this point, after a 2 year struggle, I can say that the problem is probably 95% resolved. Best of luck to you!

I think I have a good PT.. He did a thorough assessment and concluded that it was my misfiring glute that was responsible for the pain in the lower body. I did a bone scan which brought up nothing, now I have an MRI coming up for my shoulders. Would you recommend getting an MRI to look at what's going on in the lower back area? I'm worried about having something like a herniated disc.
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Old 12-13-15, 06:22 PM
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Nothing really to add to this except that I'm not surprised by your story. I have flat feet and if I don't manage them properly (orthotics, cycling wedges, ...) almost everything above them has issues.

Out of curiosity, what type of gluteus muscle? Maximus? Medius? For me, poorly functioning gluteus medius muscles created a lot of trouble with my IT band and knees.
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Old 12-30-15, 01:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Igualmente
Nothing really to add to this except that I'm not surprised by your story. I have flat feet and if I don't manage them properly (orthotics, cycling wedges, ...) almost everything above them has issues.

Out of curiosity, what type of gluteus muscle? Maximus? Medius? For me, poorly functioning gluteus medius muscles created a lot of trouble with my IT band and knees.
I was told that my glute medius was inactive. After a bit of research, I can see why. The tightness and pain in my right leg is probably due to the hip abductor misfiring and as a result, my hamstrings and everything below has to compensate
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Old 02-08-16, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ParkingTheBus
I'm not sure where to post this, but I thought here would be good. I just want some stories/opinions...

I'm only 22 and I've been having chronic pain for 2 years. In the past couple months, it's gotten quite bad, to the point where I've stopped all physical activity and even considered quitting my job. I have pain in my shoulders, right shoulder blade, lower back, knees and legs. Most of the pain is on the right side however it can flare up on both.

When I walk, run or stand for too long, my tibia/knee area starts to hurt on the right leg. My right hamstring and quads are also extremely tight which has affected my gait. I also sporadic pain in my groin and I notice that when I'm biking, my right leg moves a lot slower than my left.

I went to a physiotherapist and he gave me a bit of info... He said that a lot of this was due to a misfiring glute. My right glute is weak and as a result my whole body is thrown off. My lower back compensates for lifting and bending while my hamstrings are put under unescesarry stress to compensate as well.

Any advice or similar stories?
Yes. Pilates reformer. You have to work each side independently. You get core strengthening. You get flexibility and strength training. It would be a perfect compliment to cycling.

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