A common question we get as physical therapists is, “What can I do to stretch this tight muscle?” While stretching may seem like the best method to treat a tight muscle, stretching may also not always be the answer. Muscle tightness can be caused by weakness or tightness of the muscle, and weakness in surrounding muscles. Most commonly, all of these things are involved on some level, which causes a muscle to tighten.
As a medical professional who not only works with the Chicago Blackhawks but also a large number of hockey players of all levels, one of the more recurrent questions I receive is, “how to adequately warm-up before taking the ice?” My answer is the foam roll, for a variety of reasons.
Now that spring is here and it is beautiful outside, a lot of runners really begin to build their mileage. When this happens, I usually start to see a lot of hip flexor pain and tightness. This problem is really common in distance runners. Tight hip flexors are a major cause of many posture problems. In runners, it is mainly caused by repetitive use and weak glutes. In people who sit a lot, well, it is caused by sitting a lot. This posting covers what to do if you are running a lot. (more…)
Sedentary jobs, decreased activity levels, and increased stress have made us a less mobile population. Our muscles are overactive and tight, creating imbalances in our bodies, which can lead to poor posture, joint pain, and a host of avoidable injuries. Most of us can’t afford a live-in masseuse, and massages from our significant others are expected to be reciprocated (and who wants to do that?), so how are we supposed to alleviate our tense, overactive muscles? Below I have 3 options for you, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. (more…)