Do you ever feel “crooked”? Do you notice that you hurt more in one knee or shoulder than another?Our daily habits of standing with more weight on one side or always reaching overhead with one hand vs the other; eventually lead to overuse of certain joints or tendons. Additionally, the world we live in is oriented towards moving more in one direction than another. For a few easy examples, think of every running track or revolving door you have seen ever seen and note that it is always the Right Leg that is on the outside of the curve that is having to work just a little bit harder. There are many examples of this type of body bias from school seats that cause one shoulder to sink lower or lead to a sideways slouch.
Think about yourself and how you are right at this moment. Are you holding your cellphone in your R or L hand, are you bending your neck to look down at it or your laptop, is your chair or car seat fully supporting your low back & pelvis, etc. These subtle asymmetries are the reason why it is usually/typically only one side or body region (neck, shoulder, hip, knee, or your back) that hurts more and more often than the other side.
The premise from which I, as a manual therapist work is based on the irrefutable fact that your body’s structure dictates its function & performance. To phrase it another way, your posture controls how you move and is the source of most pain patterns. It is amazing how much can be accomplished when a skilled PT and motivated patient can utilize a combination of hands-on muscle & joint mobilization with postural realignment & tailored exercise.
We have internal musculature that is dramatically different in shape & size from left to right. For example, the Diaphragm (a fairly important muscle) has a different shape, muscle mass, and skeletal attachment on the left as compared to the right. This strongly influences our lower body L vs R dominance and has a huge impact on core control with walking/running and overall abdominal strength!
Our organs do not always come in pairs. The liver is large and very dense. We have only one and it is on the right side of our body. Therefore, we stand, sit, and walk with more weight through the right side of our spine and often our hip, knee & foot. This is not to say we all have the same problems & patterns because everyone adapts in different ways.