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Posted on 11-07-2017

"What Stretches Should I Do?" is a common question I hear.

The answer is usually "It Depends!"

It's important to understand that there are a few common reasons why muscles might be tight and spazzy...

Protection -- your brain may be turning up that muscle activity in response to an injury of a joint, ligament, or another muscle. Your nervous system will shut some things down and increase the activity of others to keep you from doing more damage. 

Compensation -- your brain may be using that muscle in place of another muscle (or group of muscles) that isn't working correctly. A single muscle doing the work of several others is going to get angry sooner or later.

Weakness -- sounds strange, but a muscle can feel tight and be functionally weak at the same time! Note that I said "feel tight" -- a weak, overworked muscle is often inflamed and irritated, and sometimes just holding on for dear life to keep you upright and moving.

The typical self-treatment approaches for tight muscles are to rub, stretch, or foam roll.  These will often feel good while you are doing them (not that there's anything wrong with that!)  But if the muscle is tight and irritated for the above noted reasons,  it will probably come back, sometimes with a vengeance.  And too much or the wrong kind of stretching can actually inhibit muscle function, leading to loss of strength, stability, and power.

The usual medical approach is to medicate the pain, or take muscle relaxers. These do little to nothing to address the underlying problem, and often have nasty side effects. I often see patients who have been prescribed some sort of combo of pain killer and muscle relaxer.  Occasionally they will throw in an antidepressant,  because they are miserable from being sick and tired. 

Here at Frederick Chiropractic Wellness Center, Dr. Morrone uses advanced techniques like P-DTR and does a thorough history and examination of your nervous system, muscles, and joints to figure out how they are working (or not!) and why.

Because you are unique (just like everyone else!) you will get specific recommendations for stretching, strengthening, breathing, and mobility exercises to reduce your pain and help you heal. 

Call us today if you want help making the most of your stretching routine!

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