Thursday, April 28, 2016

Being Hypertonic may SOUND cool, but...

...Four reasons it ain't!

An overly tight muscle--one that is hypertonic, or sustained in contraction, is constantly working, which means:

1. Circulation is decreased in a hypertonic muscle, thus it is not getting all that it requires to live a healthy life. This is the start of a slow, painful death to the muscle.

2. An overly tight muscle pulls on bones, joints, ligaments, and other soft tissue, pulling the rest of the body out of balance and out of whack.

3. The muscle is consuming more oxygen and energy than a muscle at rest and producing more waste products which irritate the nerves.

4. Impingement and other painful nerve problems can erupt when hypertonic muscles compress the nerves that travel between or through the muscle. (Take the classic Piriformis Syndrome that produces Sciatic Nerve pain, for example.) This sometimes results in decreased nerve function, paresthesias, altered sensations including pins/needles feelings, and almost certainly pain. 

Got a tight muscle? Don't sit with it too long! Get it worked out ASAP! Self care, stretching, targeted exercises, and of course, massage therapy are all good bets to get you back in balance.

* Learn more with Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology by Ruth Werner.

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