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Chronic Tightness: Are Your Muscles Weak or Tight

Do you struggle with tightness of stiffness? It’s not uncommon for athletic individuals to feel stiff after a workout or have general muscle tightness but neither should be ignored. Our physical therapists in San Diego want you to know some of the potential risks with those and some ways to address them:

What is chronic tightness?

If chronic muscle tightness lasts longer than your usual post-exercise muscle soreness and doesn’t seem to dissolve, poor movement mechanics can result or even cause injury. Chronic tightness can be the result of:

  1. Movement Issues – poor posture, movement mechanics, and overuse can cause tightness in the muscles.
  2. Strength Issues – weak or overly strong muscles can cause an imbalance that engages other muscles in the area to compensate for the difference.
  3. Injury – an injury untreated can lead to chronic tightness as surrounding muscles work to stabilize the area.

What is the difference between a weak muscle and a tight muscle?

A muscle that feels tight may not be tight at all. Elongated and tired muscles are often the culprits creating stability problems. This leaves your other muscles in the area working overtime with your body’s subconscious efforts to stabilize itself.

The irony is that the muscle causing the stability problem will probably not be tight. While you may think it is, the feeling is likely caused by the surrounding muscles.

Where is chronic tightness a problem?

Chronic tightness can happen anywhere but is more commonly an issue with the legs, back, and shoulder areas that directly impact how we move.

What can I do if I think I have a problem?

The best answer would be to call your physical therapist. Onyx Wellness in San Diego offers a complimentary injury screening. Chronic tightness can be challenging to self-diagnose and treat for the above reasons. The muscles that feel sore may not be the issue at all.

It takes a professional with years of training to correctly diagnose and treat chronically tight muscle issues. However, if you aren’t ready to see a professional, you may want to try gently stretching or rolling the area to see if the problem persists. If it goes away, that’s great! However, you probably could still benefit from an evaluation.

Chronic tightness can be a flashing red light that it’s time to see a physical therapist. If you are in San Diego and want a more professionally guided approach to your health and wellness, schedule an appointment today. We can help you with your current issues while also helping you discover other areas we should address.