Restore Muscle Balance
Is It Always Right to Stretch What is Tight?
All muscles have a resting length in which they are most responsive to producing proper movement. This length is where they feel relaxed and perform best.
We have all had tight muscles that we are often told to stretch. But should a tight muscle always be stretched? A muscle can feel tight if it is shortened and restricted from its proper resting length – in this case it may be appropriate to lengthen or “stretch” it. But a muscle can also be tight if it is lengthened beyond resting length. Picture a rubber band that you have pulled tight. It is now locked long. If this was a muscle in your body it would definitely feel tight, but it is no longer helpful to further try to lengthen or stretch this already taught band of tissue.
The tensegrity model of the body to the left helps us appreciate that any one flexible segment (muscles) between the sticks (bones) could be pulled shortened and tight OR could be lengthened and tight due muscle imbalance or skeletal asymmetry.
Have you ever had a muscle that you constantly stretch but is still tight?
Muscles always become tight for a reason. Understanding why a muscle is tight is critical to re-establishing muscle balance that will last. Motion analysis and testing for over-facilitation (an overactive muscle), inhibition (a nonresponsive muscle), and discerning the relationship between the two are vital steps to the release, balance, build approach to treatment.
Our Therapists Offer
At CHARM we incorporate an extremely powerful tool to identify areas of the body that the brain is continuing to guard, inhibit, or restrict movement. The NEUBIE by NeuFit is a method focused on input to the neuromuscular system using a direct current that mimics the body’s own neurological signal sent when we move. Therapists at CHARM can quickly identify the underlying dysfunction and use the NEUBIE during exercise to re-pattern proper movement patterns and restore function… Read More