Understanding Your Muscle Tightness

16 May 2021
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Have you been working on your mobility and flexibility but over time have not seen that much of a change? This may be because you are failing to address the route cause of the issue.

Currently, runners, cyclists, home gym-goers and more are chasing the idea of getting an increase in range of motion. This is done to either feel less stiff, perform better or just as simple as being able to touch your toes. But the techniques being implemented may not be causing any long term change or potentially your risk of injury. Doing mobility training such as stretches forcing your muscles past their normal range of motion and therefore gives us the ability to perform exercises in more unstable positions.

Following this, the tendency is to then train strength immediately after mobility training in these unstable positions. End ranges are unstable positions so the perceived threat to the integrity of the joint is very high and therefore increases the risk of injury. This is because the body is trying to protect us from that unstable position because it lacks the joint stability to be in that position in day-to-day life. So often people get trapped in the cycle of stretch-strengthen and then repeat, failing to address the root cause of the tightness in the muscles. 

Put simply you need to ask yourself why muscle is tight to begin with. This will help you get rid of the mindset of simply stretching a type muscle and therefore allow you to address underpinning factor. And this is how you will make a long-term change to your flexibility.

Some examples of muscular tightness is being down to stability issues are:

  • Hamstring tightness could be down to core muscle weaknesses
  • Stiff shoulders could be because of weak rotator cuff muscles
  • Tight calves should be down to weak muscles at the front of the leg or hip stability issues

In the clinic, we do a full functional assessment on every new patient coming in. This allows us to find the true cause of your pain or tightness and therefore create a long term change. So, if you suffer from long term tightness or muscular pain and would like us to assess and treat you, then contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.

Yours in Health

The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois

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