When you’re injured or are avoiding certain movements due to pain, a number of things occur.
Firstly, you will lose strength in the associated muscles. Our muscles stay healthy and strong because we continue to use them consistently every day. When we stop using muscles normally like when we sustain an injury, and instead avoid using them to avoid pain, they weaken. This means we won’t have the same functional capacity that we did pre-injury, and we have to actively work to restore our muscle strength and function.
Secondly, our muscles tighten. Like losing strength, we also lose flexibility when we don’t actively stretch and work our tissues. This is compounded by the fact that most of us will already have muscle tightness pre-injury (and it may have been a contributing factor to our injury). This means that it is very important to stick to an effective and tailored stretching and strengthening program to get us back to full functional capacity.
Don’t forget - our muscles work to stabilise the body so it may be more than one area of the body that feels weak after injury.