What are muscles?

November 17, 2016

Muscles, the specialized tissue that helps create body movement. They make up about 40% of your body weight, yes, 40%. Most muscles are the voluntary type, called “skeletal muscle” because it attaches to the skeleton via tendons. Skeletal muscles contribute to body contours and shape, giving us our sexy curves. Another system called fascia, is working in sync with the muscular system and allows our muscles to transmit force from one muscle to another. (If you’re ever cut your deep, it’s the white stuff you see). The fascial system is a continuous web that runs through each muscle fiber and becomes the tendon before it attaches to the bone. Fascia is absolutely fucking real and needs as much attention as we give our muscles when rolling, stretching and mobilizing. I guarantee you’re not using your full potential because your fascia is clogged up, like your girlfriend’s hair in the sink!

So where does that leave us… Well, it’s inevitable, we will all have achy muscles. That raises the question, why are our muscles in pain?! Something is going on within the muscle that is causing us pain, what is it? If it’s not a diagnosed pathology like fibromyalgia or some systemic pathology that is causing muscle pain, it most likely is a trigger point… In other words, a knot! And they are interesting.

They are described as a “hyperirritable” spots or nodules in the muscle and fascia. But what they really are, is a pain the in ass! They have the power to elicit the slightest of sensations to severe radiating pain locally and systemically, like the one’s that take your breathe away. The biggest conundrum in knots are their referral patterns. Trigger point referral patterns have been studied for years now by doctors, physiotherapists and RMT’s, yet the reasoning behind why we get referral patterns are idiopathic; unknown. Some say that it’s because of the fascial connection we have in our bodies. That once a part of the muscle is “pinched” it will transfer the tension down the line of fascia and illicit pain in that area. For example; if you’re experiencing pain in the front of your shoulder and down the front of your bicep and forearm, right away you think “something is wrong with my shoulder”. Where in reality, there is a trigger point in the muscle on the back of your shoulder blade that is pulling on that fascial line, causing tension and referred pain down that arm. Ahh sooo...

Okay, young Jedi, how do we treat these knots? One way is by using a technique called “ischemic compression”, a fancy word for “press and hold”. When tissue is bunched up together causing a knot to form, compressing and holding it for 30 seconds to 1 minute would cause a small inflammatory response which in return, the body will send blood and nutrients to that area, helping the tissue break up and release. Hell yeah! You’re on your way to muscle freedom.

Now grab your Pnut... breathe, press and hold, and love your muscles!

 

 




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