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muscle pain | Neck pain | osteopath

Why are some of my muscles always tight?

Written by Dr Katie Willy

The simple answer is this…⁠⁠

The joint that muscle crosses is not moving to it’s potential capacity.⁠ ⁠
The muscle is acting like a caged animal unable to change length within its joint-dictated environment.⁠ ⁠ Stretching changes the muscle length temporarily.
But the cage (available joint mobility) is still the same so eventually you will be back where you started.
Back to the tight muscle feeling.⁠ ⁠ Think about your chest muscles (pecs). ⁠
A common scenario is where your shoulder sits rolled inwards when at rest, you are likely also to have a slouched ribcage due to the scapulas (shoulder blades) protracting (moving away from the spine) in this position. ⁠ ⁠ The pec muscle sits short in this posture. You stretch your chest and get some relief but you will be right back there in the not too distant future, short pec muscle again. Boo hiss.⁠ ⁠
neck pain | Posture pain | kew osteopath
A potential solution: a rolled in shoulder is usually internally rotated (rotated inwards) at the gleno-humeral joint so you could teach that joint to roll out at the actual joint itself and connect it to a scapula retraction motion (moving back towards the spine). ⁠ ⁠
You could also teach the ribcage to tilt back from the slouch forwards and experience spine extension in the thoracics between the scapulas.
The spine is flexed with a slouched ribcage, so let’s try something new and extend.⁠ Extension. ⁠
Create joint awareness and the body may find a new resting posture relationship for the joint. Then the muscle has a new environment to exist in. Happy days.⁠ ⁠ Muscle tightness gives me clues as to what is not moving in joint relationships. ⁠ ⁠
But we do need to figure out if the muscle is held:⁠ ➡️tight and LONG or ➡️tight and SHORT⁠. ⁠
This gives the clues to unravel the issue.⁠
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