A tight muscle is in a state of chronic contraction, and that makes it unavailable or less available for use. Muscles move joints. A fluidly moving joint allows for normal range of motion. Stiffness or pain from a tight muscle can limit the range of motion of the joint, and you may find yourself limited from achieving your optimum in sports or from doing ordinary daily activities.
Tight muscles are associated with other muscles that work together to move the joint. For most joints, there are also antagonists: they oppose the movement of the joint in a particular direction. For one muscle or group of muscles to contract, the antagonist muscles must relax or lengthen. If the antagonist muscles are tight, they don’t lengthen, the joint doesn’t move much, and the movement cannot happen. If you continue to attempt to move joints when the agonist and antagonist muscles are fighting each other, you can injure tendons, or cause inflammation.
How do muscles get tight? Overuse, strain, repetitive injury, underuse, lack of exercise, inadequate nutrients, maintaining distorted posture, ignoring pain signals, or ignoring the need to stretch. Stretching by itself cannot always release tight muscles, especially if there are postural habits that prevent the muscle from returning to a normal resting length, or if the antagonist muscles are in pain.
Ortho-Bionomy® is one approach that positions the body in a direction of ease or comfort, usually around a tender point. This sends a signal to the nervous system that stimulates the self-corrective reflexes of the body. This is especially helpful to neck, shoulders, hands, elbows, feet, knees, back and ribs. Sometimes an Ortho-Bionomy® session follows your own unwinding, with a rhythm and timing that allows you to access and release more subtle aspects of your patterns of holding and letting go.
Call me for an Ortho-Bionomy® session. Also call if you are interested in taking a class from Sara Sunstein, Advanced Ortho-Bionomy® Instructor, who will be teaching workshops in Portland, as well offering private sessions. 503-708-2911.
Reference: Ortho-Bionomy Benefits for Tight Muscles