Like everything else in the human body muscles are complex. However, muscle physiology is a little more forgiving on the complexity scale. Put simply, if you stretch a muscle daily it will lengthen over time. If you put a muscle under enough load with adequate rest and repair time, then it will get stronger. Have you noticed that you are working out and just can’t gain any more strength? How about stretching consistently, but never seem to be able to touch your toes? Are you familiar with the definition of insanity?
While it may seem frustrating to identify that you’re doing the same thing over and over again without getting a different result, it’s less likely that you’re doing something wrong. It’s more likely that your body has positional faults. When viewed under a microscope muscles look kind of like little zippers. If you over-lengthen a muscle those little zippers don’t have enough teeth crossing over and you can’t generate any real power for muscle contraction. It’s not that you’re weak per se, it’s that you cannot turn the muscle because of your position.
The same issue applies to a muscle you’re trying to stretch. A muscle that is in a guarding pattern may feel tight, like it needs stretched, when in actuality it is in a subtle contraction. You cannot stretch a muscle that is on, it’s like trying to stretch your bicep while carrying a bag of groceries! These issues are more common than you might think, so the questions remain: Are you tight or are you just contracting? Are you weak or are you in a positional fault? Either of the later scenarios of these questions will likely result in you hurting, and if that is the case, that’s what were here for at Seattle’s Elite Physical Therapy. Let us diagnose the source of your pain and help you answer those questions at the same time.
Are You Tight or Not? Are You Weak or Not?
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