Why Muscles Really Get Tight (Hint: It's the Weak Ones!)

When I look at a patient's posture, oftentimes this is what I see! (See pics below). Unevenness/imbalance. You may see the same thing if you look in the mirror, whether in your shoulders, or hips, or other body part.

I have chosen uneven shoulders to demonstrate a very important point- *in the majority of cases, it is not a TIGHT muscle causing the problems/symptoms, it is a WEAK muscle!*

Many modalities (massage, muscle work/therapies like ART, Graston, etc) target treatment to tight muscles. In the pictures below, it looks as if the right upper shoulder (trap) muscle is tight. Many therapies may seek to release this muscle. While there is a time and a place for these therapies, this muscle will always keep tightening if the weak one is not addressed! 

The weak muscle in this case is a muscle in the lower right back called the latissimus (lat muscle). As long as this muscle remains weakened, that shoulder will always creep up and be tight. This is why you may always walk out of other treatments, and it seems that within a few days that muscle tension and tightness has returned.

The lat muscle, just like any muscle in the body, can be inhibited/shut off for a number of reasons. It could be a misalignment in the spine or extremities shutting off nerve supply to the muscle, it could be pancreas and/or blood sugar disturbances since the lat muscle is related to this, it could be faulty lymphatic drainage from the muscle or organ, it could be a spleen/stomach acupuncture meridian imbalance, etc. 

The key is to identify what is shutting off the muscle, and then fix it! That is what we do here in the office with Applied Kinesiology muscle testing. Rather than identify all of the tight muscles, we find the ones that are not firing properly, and restore their function. 

In doing this, the tight muscles will subsequently relax on their own! There will be no more need to get massages every week...although they do feel nice and serve a good purpose smile emoticon

Thanks to my patient for helping me demo this important point, and thanks for reading! 

Note: The last picture in the series is the patient at the end of the treatment yesterday. His shoulders are almost completely level.