Antagonist Pair

With this being a short week because of Thanksgiving I will make this short and sweet.

Did you know that the muscle system in your body function like the yin and yang? Certain muscle areas of your body have its direct opposite and as a result they complement each other. Pretty amazing stuff right? Definitely! There is a lot going on in that body of yours.

Have you ever heard the word antagonist? Got a brief flashback of your high school English class just then didn’t you? Well the term antagonist can apply to a type of muscle in your body. You are familiar with the term protagonist from school but when it comes to your muscles it is called ‘agonist’. Well, just like the protagonists and antagonists in literature oppose each other, agonist and antagonist muscles have a specific function and for a lack of a better term also oppose each other. Years ago, when I began in neuromuscular therapy I learned all about the muscles in your body and what makes them tick. Essentially, the agonist muscles help to move the limb, while the antagonist muscles help pull the limb back to its original position.

Antagonist and agonist are commonly called antagonist pairs. Agonist muscles are the working muscles usually considered to be the “prime movers” since they usually generate a specific movement. Its opposite, the antagonist muscle is the “returner” muscle. Agonist and antagonist work in pairs, when one contracts the other relaxes. The biceps and triceps are the most recognized set of antagonist pair muscles. Other antagonist pairs include but are not limited to your upper back and chest, and quadriceps and hamstrings.

How does all this affect me you ask? Well it’s important to know a little bit about how your muscles work when thinking about your own treatment plans and how to better manage your pain. It’s all about the synergy that is created with the movement of these muscle groups. They all work together to make sure you function normally.

Until Next Time….Take care of your muscles and they will take care of you!

Have a wonderful time!