By, Sean Light PRT, RSCC, LMT
I’m amazed at how many medical doctors and physical therapists are telling patients who need gradual resistance training to stretch, rest, ice, take a pill & immobilize instead. Please stop. This promotes fragility. –Tim DiFrancesco
This overwhelming mindset from the medical community shows a complete disrespect to the human body, a willing ignorance to their profession and a MASSIVE F**K YOU to anyone trusting them for their medical guidance.
Muscles don’t just become tight. You didn’t sleep wrong. Your brain, for some reason, and there is a reason, decided to make you tight out of protection for your body.
What are you accomplishing by cranking on your muscles trying to loosen them up? You are engaging in a battle with your brain and you will not win. What might happen is your brain may give up and let go of all that tension in that muscle but then it’s going to have to find compensation and protection somewhere else adding another layer to your dysfunction making it a lot harder to fix your problems.
Flexibility is good. True flexibility that is. Constant tension in a muscle is a sign of stress somewhere in your system. You have to find the source of that stress. That’s how you should be gaining your flexibility back.
Muscles are covered in a net like substance called “fascia.” This fascia can and often does become bunched up and tightens the range of motion of the muscle. This is very different than an actually tight muscle. For tight fascia, you want to use some massage techniques to loosen that up. This is a very specific type of massage geared towards specific spots and fascial bundles to loosen up that casing.
Even massage isn’t a great alternative to stretching. When you think about it, it’s the same as stretching. What are you actually doing? Compression of a muscle may loosen it up on the table, but what if the reason it’s tight is because you eat too much sugar? What if the reason it’s tight is because you’re stressed out about work? You’ve done nothing to address the problem. It’s a temporary fix.
It’s time to ask yourself some tough questions. It’s time to ask yourself questions you may not know the answer to. It’s time to ask questions that your doctor may not know the answer to. But if your doctor is telling you to stretch, they probably have no idea how to fix your problem.