Why is my muscle tight and what can I do about it? Should I stretch?

Summary:

 • Tightness is a symptom, not a cause

• Loss of mobility at an area is typically preceeded by loss of stability

• Your ns equates a lack of stabiltiy with a lack of safety and responds by making things tight

• to impart safety, work on your stability

AKA: less stretching and more stabilizing

Pain and tightness are syumptoms not causes. you need ot figure out why they are tight. Lack of movement and a subsequent loss of stability will turn off mucsles and help make mucsles tighter/shorter. It's not that you're sitting in a chair [postition. it's that your sitting Supported in a chair, and never doing anything else with your body/muscles. it requres very little reflexive use of our core - core in our trunk, and in our neck. So when we stand up, anything that requires our core..good luck. 

Movement, and life, are all about saffety. Your nervouse system is all about safety. You ns is always seeking safety.  everything is going to do is to create safety.

 

So for instance, hip flexors are attached to your lumbar spine lumbar spine.  I absence of appropriate ( not strength) reflexive control of your core, your ns is going go to say " you don't own this. Your back is not safe". So what will it do? It will refelxively make the tissues around it tight, to provide that stability. THerefor, sometimes stability work, not stretching, is the answer.

Sop what can you do?

Start with brething. Br is going allow for some general down reg of ns. Use br to calm things down and reflexively relax those hipflexors. From fascial prespecitive, there's a fascial connection between psoas and diaphragm. So starting to use D more, you'll get more exursion of that psoas. laslty, breathing is the firts way we learned to reflexivel pressurize that core, for stability. 

Impart stability to core area, so the ns says" i feel safe and I will relax. 

Active/recruit hip flexors - dead bug legs, w hp activation

Active mobility work - reciprocal inhibition. Glutes. one leg bridge with top leg relaxed/ held bent to chest (can put coregeous btwn knee and chest = hp active). activate glutes in range you can. 

Stretch - if you must , do it effectilvy and accurately. prox stability is going to allow distal mobility. train with appropriate contraction,  hf to start acting as a hp, not spinal stabilizer. 

half kneel while holding on to something = spine feels safel. drag knee fwd (pfn), contract glute. When you are down, you must to be active. Once imaprt mobility, you must impart stability with active movements to tell ns you are safe. 

hip clunk/snap = hf is popping over pelvis, because you've been using hf as spinal stabilizer, and it is holding tight, not elongating. give stability to the core, so the hf feel safe to reflexviely lengthen, and eccentricall control the hip flextion, leg action. 

SHante Colfield - yoga int free webinar

Fascia is our biological fabric that creates our body's form. Fascia surrounds and connects joints, muscles, and organs. Fascia is what holds our bodies together. These interconnected fibers direct and distribute movement forces throughout the body. Fascia is also a sensory organ. Fascia provides us with the sense of proprioception. This allows us to know where we are in space. In fact, fascia consists of six to ten times more sensory nerve receptors than muscles, and is arguably our richest sensory organ. 

Caring for your fascia is important for conditioning healthy bodies. Unfortunately, poor posture, lack of movement as well as repetitive movement can all damage fascia. Our bodies will feel heavy, aged, achy, and lethargic as a result. In fact, chronic overuse injuries are the effect of overloaded, strained fascia. The good news is that fascia is very malleable and incredibly resilient. Fascia will respond and remodel itself to changes in forces. Along with doing Rolfing® Structural Integration here are some other things that you can do to help keep your fascia and body resilient, youthful and vital

 

https://www.tuneupfitness.com/blog/fascia-myofascial-release/

JARGON ALERT

“A fascia is a sheath, a sheet, or any other dissectible aggregations of connective tissue that forms beneath the skin to attach, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs. Definition as accepted by Federative International Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FICAT) See “A fascia and the fascial system.”

The fascial system consists of the three-dimensional continuum of soft, collagen containing, loose and dense fibrous connective tissues that permeate the body. It incorporates elements such as adipose tissue, adventitiae and neurovascular sheaths, aponeuroses, deep and superficial fasciae, epineurium, joint capsules, ligaments, membranes, meninges, myofascial expansions, periostea, retinacula, septa, tendons, visceral fasciae, and all the intramuscular and intermuscular connective tissues including endo-/peri-/epimysium. The fascial system surrounds, interweaves between, and interpenetrates all organs, muscles, bones and nerve fibers, endowing the body with a functional structure, and providing an environment that enables all body systems to operate in an integrated manner. See “Update on fascial nomenclature”

For us non-scientists, here is a more succinct description of fascia from The Roll Model Method, “Fascia is the body’s living aqueous knitting fabric. This seam system is the body’s soft-tissue scaffolding that interconnects you to yourself.”3

Fascia: Liquid? Solid? Interstitium? The fascial zones where movement occurs are a true marvel of transitional nature. Here you have abundant fluids, migrant cells, sensory nerve endings, resident cells, pre-lymphatic vessels and plenty of dynamically stabilizing collagen fibers. Their zones exist all over our body and permit differential movement. They are a biological estuary and need to be respected as such. Dr. Neil Theise recently named it the ”Interstitium” and it made headline news worldwide.

JARGON ALERT

One of the reasons why fascia can be so vexing is exemplified by all of the terms that currently apply to the “loose” fascia layer. It does not yet have a “fixed” name agreed upon by all anatomists. Other terms for this layer are, interstitium, fascial interface, transition zone and Gil Hedley‘s term (one our our favorite anatomists) “perifascial membrane.”

Myofascia = Myo (muscle fiber) + Fascia (the fascial wrappings holding the muscle fibers together to form a muscle)

“Myofascia refers to the familiar-named muscle structures along with their associated interpenetrating fascias. For example, your biceps is a myofascial structure, as is your gastrocnemius (calf muscle). There is no muscle that does not have fascia winding its way throughout every layer of its cells and fascicles and surrounding its whole structure. Therefore, while we are in the habit of talking about muscles, the terms myofascia and muscle can be used interchangeably.”3

Muscle fibers are the drivers of mobility and contraction, but they could not function without their fascial partners. The fascia organizes, lubricates and transfers energy for those muscle fibers.2

But what you must know is that ALL FASCIAS ARE CONNECTED.

Even though we tend to want to separate and categorize in order to better understand the body, fascia doesn’t really work like that.

As David Lesondak explains “The most important thing to keep foremost in mind, at all times, is that the fascial net is one continuous structure throughout the body . . . as far as the body is concerned, the fascia is all one – one complex, holistic, self-regulating organ.”1

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Lara Weithorn

CAMTC # 25433

© 2019 by Lara Weithorn 

Cell: 818-971-9115