This area always feels tight. Why won’t it release?

Filed in WtFAQ — August 11, 2022


Do you have specific areas that you’re always rubbing, stretching, foam rolling, using a massage gun on, or your partner works on it, your Massage Therapist works on it, but it never fully releases? Everything you throw at it helps a little. Then it comes back. And sometimes it’s worse than before.

You may want to rethink things a bit and refocus your efforts.

3 Ways Muscles Respond Neurologically

A normal, healthy muscle has a supple tissue tone feel. With proper functionality it is able to lengthen/relax as well as contract/tighten. The neuroconnectivity is on point.

Weak muscles (not atrophied) have a high tissue tone or tight feel. A good tangent here is to mention that ‘tight’ is a very subjective term as it means different things to different people. These muscles are often fatigued trying to constantly contract as required. There could be a number of factors contributing to weakness such as motor control issues, an actual nerve issue, or simply lack of exercise.

Locked muscles have an excessively high tone with a rigid feel. These muscles can’t relax or lengthen normally. They are in a contracted state as a supportive structure for a synergistic muscle that isn’t functioning well. It’s a helper, a movement hero, that is screaming loudly while it’s carrying more than its fair share. Locked muscles also happen to be my favorite way of assessing the Nervous System and a core component in Nervvy courses.

Which one do you think it is that you keep Hulk Smashing?

Locked Muscles & the Synergists That Love Them

A pretty safe guess is that you have been dealing with locked muscles. No amount of tissue work, stretching, or swearing is going to actually get that muscle to release and stay that way. And you don’t want it to.

Locked muscles are supportive and protective. They are helpers. When you get them to let go, even temporarily, it’s like kicking the legs out from under you. The other muscles that are weak and not functioning well are no longer getting the help they need. Things can very quickly get worse.

A larger compensation pattern can get ramped up creating more issues and that locked muscle will overload itself once more with a vengeance. And possibly call in some more friends to help as well. Good job little buddy! Not so good for you though.

Sweet Talk the Nervous System

In order to get that locked muscle to release or let go you need to find out WHY it is locked in the first place. If your current forms of therapy or self-care are not getting the job done you should get properly assessed by a Therapist that has these skills.

No, you’re not being disloyal to your current Therapist by looking for some outside help. In all honesty, doing so will allow their work to be more effective and beneficial for you. At the end of the day the goal is to help you feel better and move better.

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