Do you find yourself having to constantly stretch or foam roll the same tight muscles all the time, only to have them tighten back up again?
Well then this blog post is definitely for you!
Muscles feeling tight and bothersome is not simply an effect you should expect from training. Working out should make you feel better. You don’t have to feel tight all the time.
There could be an underlying issue that is not being addressed. In some cases, this tightness may be a warning sign from your body that there is a need for a change. This warning sign could be an indication that something worse could come in the future. Like having tight hamstrings or always having tight hips for instance, which could be coming from a back issue.
I just had a friend from Oregon reach out to me last week. He’s been dealing with some tightness he’s noticed in the front of his hips and some low back discomfort. It’s been going on for a while now and he’s even sought out the help of 3 different professionals.
In each case they simply told him that his “psoas was tight” and proceeded to dig into his abdomen and prescribe psoas stretches. It did help provide some relief but the feeling of tightness in his hips would always return within 15 minutes and his low back would bother him again.
I’m sure a lot of you have heard or maybe even been through a similar story. This is actually very common. The psoas is often used as a scapegoat to blame a variety of issues. (Stay tuned for more on this in another blog)
Another common misconception that people often hear is that they have to roll or work out adhesions or scar tissue in their muscles or fascia. Fortunately for you that is completely false. This idea of tissue adhesion’s or scar tissue being broken up by foam rolling simply is not true.
If this were the case imagine how much trouble you would be in when you slept at night, played sports, jumped up and down, or did any sort of exercise. You’d be a mess. Your body and its tissues are way stronger than that!
Its very important to abandon this concept that foam rolling, stretching, lacrosse balls, or even manual therapy from a professional, whether it be using hands or shiny tools, is able to somehow break up and correct tissues under the skin. It just isn’t the case.
That doesn’t mean that it isn’t helpful or that it doesn’t feel good! Just means that you can be a little more gentle on yourself and still get the desired effect that you are looking for. Without all the bruises, scrapes, pain and suffering that some often associate with treating soft tissues of the body.
With this info in mind it’s important to understand that your foam roller should not be your enemy. You don’t need to suffer in order to reap the benefits of stretching or using a foam roll. I’d even recommend against it (unless of course you find this feeling therapeutic – then by all means, do what works for you).
Stretching is useful for injury prevention, positive tissue adaptations, and just feeling good in general. Using methods such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls, or other tools can also help improve range of motion before exercise or activity. But it shouldn’t be used as a long term answer when things are constantly tight and bothersome.
Finding the root cause of this tightness can bring freedom and better training, leading to better results, reduced injury risk and more time doing what you love and doing it better.
When my friend contacted me for advice, I did what any good health care provider and friend would do: I referred him to a top notch doc in his area who really knows his stuff. Luckily he was able to get in for an appointment the next week.
That doc did a thorough evaluation and found that the issue he was dealing with in his hips was secondary to what was a back issue. Together, they addressed the back issue and subsequently resolved the perception of tightness that was going on in the front of his hips. No digging into the abdomen necessary!
An important part of this is that the doc gave him a thorough education of what was likely causing the issue. And a long term plan to keep it from coming back. Along with self reliant things he can do in the chance that it happens again. This way he can have faster results and reliably reduce the hip tightness without having to be in the docs office every time it happens.
I compiled a list here for you that outlines some general ideas that you can apply when dealing with muscles that are always tight.
Foam rolling and stretching is awesome. Plus it can feel great. But if you have to keep doing it for problematic areas and things aren’t improving then it’s time to change up the strategy and figure out why you’re always tight in the first place!
If you’re finding yourself always having the same tight and uncomfortable feeling in certain muscles, then make sure and reach out to us so we can help get you back to performing your best again.
CONTACT US to schedule a FREE DISCOVERY VISIT or FREE PHONE CONSULTATION so we can discuss your unique situation. Don’t let tight muscles ruin your training and the activities you love![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]