It doesn’t matter how many different injuries you can name, or how many of them you’ve had, there’s one thing that either causes, or contributes to them all…
… Muscle Tightness.
If you haven’t been involved in some sort of impact or collision that forced your bones to break, then muscle tightness is either the sole cause or the primary contributing factor in your injury.
Your injury could be described as an ‘itis’ (such as plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis), a ‘syndrome’ (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), a joint dislocation or even a joint replacement. You may have torn a tendon or ligament, or even just pulled a muscle, call it whatever you like, it started life as muscle tightness.
If you want to avoid injury and build consistent blocks of training, then you’ll need to know my top 3 ways that tight muscles cause injury
Injury Causing Way #1: Tight muscles alter joint position
All muscles attach to bones. If one starts to get tight and short, it pulls the bone out of place and causes all the other muscles attached to that bone to also be in a different position. This change in position causes the tight muscles to fatigue quickly, and the other ones to not function correctly (which is often seen as them behaving “weak”). Over time, this will lead to injuries such as repetitive strain, tendonitis, lower back pain and other such gradual onset injuries.
Injury Causing Way #2: Tight muscles are less elastic
Once a muscle is tight, it is less elastic and therefore less able to absorb the forces travelling through it. An example of this is an ankle sprain. If the muscles in your feet and ankles were sufficiently supple and strong and you happened to “go over” on your ankle while out running, it is very likely that you would have no pain and be able to continue your run without any trouble. If the muscles in your feet and ankles were very tight, however, you would be more than likely to sprain your ankle as the amount of movement your bones can make without restriction is very much smaller and the increased tension in the muscles would mean they were less capable of absorbing more.
If the joint has an altered position and an extreme force is applied, the lack of elasticity in the muscles can force the bones out of place, causing a dislocation.
Injury Causing Way #3: Tight muscles cause bones to be closer together
Most muscles cross at least one joint (the space between two bones) and when they get tight, they get shorter. This brings the two bones closer together which wears away cartilage and eventually creates bone rubbing on bone (osteoarthritis).
As tight muscles are the cause of all these issues, it makes sense to try and deal with them, but stretching and rest won’t work. Why? Because muscles have a spiral in them and the tighter the muscles get, the tighter the spiral gets. Doing nothing (rest) won’t undo the spiral and trying to pull it out in a straight line (stretching) won’t either. It needs a variety of movements (Wiggling) to unwind it.
Check out this replay of my LIVE video show to see what I mean
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