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Why Stretching Is Not Resolving Your Tightness And Pain

Let me guess, you have a nagging tightness or injury that won’t resolve no matter how much stretching you do for it or rest you give it. You have done everything, including the stretches that your physical therapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, friend, YouTube, and/or Dr. Google showed you to do for your injury. You have been doing them religiously, but still aren’t back to training like you want to be. It’s frustrating and you are becoming hopeless. I get it. I talk to people just like yourself every day. 

So, what’s the deal?  Why isn’t your issue improving? 

Here’s the deal: Unless the tightness you are feeling is an acute tightness from a recent hard, intense workout, stretching is likely not going to solve your problem. 

Most chronic tightness issues and nagging injuries are symptoms of something else going on. Until you address that something else, the tightness and nagging injuries will remain. 

What exactly is this something else? 

It can be a number of things, but usually stems from either lacking mobility, lacking stability or control, and very possibly both. 

Your body will continue to do what it can to function, so when you are lacking mobility in an area, the muscles are required to work harder in order to attempt to get the area to move. Do this long enough and issues occur in the muscles and tendons, which can result in a range of issues – chronic tightness, tendinitis, muscle strains, etc. 

Along with that, when you are lacking mobility, at times it requires the muscles and tendons to function a bit differently than they normally would. Over time, they get tired of functioning in ways that are not biomechanically appropriate for them and trigger a pain or injury response. 

The same impact can occur in the muscles and tendons for the opposite reason. When we lack stability or control of an area, the muscles are required to work harder in order to provide the necessary stability and control. The best way the body knows how to do that is by tightening up. When the muscles are tight, it enables the body to lock the joint down essentially, giving it the stability it is wanting. Until you actively gain the stability in the area, the tightness will not resolve. 

Another issue that occurs when lacking stability and control is abnormal torque and forces on the tendons. They can tolerate it for a while, but eventually they will develop inflammation and pain – your body’s way of telling you to fix the problem! 

Unfortunately, figuring out the puzzle is not always simple. Just because pain is in your foot, for example, does not mean the issue is there. Our body is truly all connected. A hip issue can create issues in the foot/ankle area and vice versa. The foot can create issues in the back or neck. This is why I highly suggest working with a professional who truly knows how the body works and addresses an injury from a whole body standpoint, not just treating the area that is injured. 



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