Last week I had a client who now lives out of state come in, she told me she wanted to work on her handstand on the wall. While talking about this she mentioned she was having issues falling to the right from time to time and on her last attempt it was a major issue. During her last session in the fall of ’14 we had worked on an issue with her R obliques, which she said had cleared up.
One of the things I have found when working with clients is usually a muscle who presents problems can be involved in many different patterns. So I started our session with watching her get up into a handstand on the wall, it looked to me like she was having issues with her push off and trying to get herself up into the position. From my observation she had what I can only describe as a push/pull pattern, meaning she was not getting enough push off with her R leg so her L leg could extend to pull her up onto the wall. I also observed her lower body was leaning to the right, which the external oblique could be responsible for. After watching her, I began palpating and found her R external oblique to be very hypertonic and sore to the touch.
We went through a number of manual muscle tests to see if we could find relationships that would improve her motor control. I actually had to make one up on the fly which mimicked the movement of her getting up on the wall. That is one of the huge benefits of using methods like NKT®, it can help us to get very specific to the issues clients bring in.
From my observation, palpation and muscle testing we were able to find that her R external oblique was overworking for the R hip flexion, L hip extension pattern she used to get her up on the wall. After we cleared the pattern on the table it was time to see if the her movement improved and the work held.
Had her try another attempt to get up and the wall and she did it very easily and her position once she was there was very solid and she did not fall off to her right. This is a great example of a motor control pattern that while was not causing any pain, caused much dysfunction in her movement patterns. I would be willing to bet also if we checked any of her overhead movements (overhead squat, military press, barbell snatch etc) the pattern may have shown up there.
Practice Makes Improvement 🙂