The “tight” sensation

At Active Motion Therapeutics clinic I always try to help people to understand there environment and themselves. I had to repost this article, as it is a great explanation into why we feel that need to stretch our muscles with sometimes, no full relief.

Full article here Bettermovement.org

The “tight” sensation that many clients and patients tell you has more to do with the nervous system and change in hormonal physiology than actual tightness of a muscle.

“In most simple cases of feeling tight, the cause is obvious – we have been stuck in the same posture or movement pattern for too long, and our muscles need a rest or change of position to reduce the ischemia or metabolic stress that is causing nociception in certain areas. For example, if we spend hours in a car, or an airplane, or behind a computer, we will instinctively feel compelled to stretch and move, and this will usually alleviate any feelings of stiffness or yuckiness.

“Of course, most clients who complain of chronic tightness have already tried and failed at this simple strategy. The feeling of stiffness remains for hours and days at a time, comes and goes as it pleases, and is less related to posture and movement.

“In these cases, the driver of the discomfort may have more to do with the nervous system becoming either peripherally or centrally sensitized to the need for more blood flow in certain areas. This could happen through local inflammation, adrenosenstivity, increased sensitivity at the dorsal horn, or maybe even learned associations between certain environments (say computers) and certain sensations (e.g feeling like crap).

“So how do we reduce this sensitivity?” ~ Todd Hargrove

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