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View Full Version : Remedy for chronically tight muscles?


Janet Fisher
03-06-2003, 09:55 PM
You know how kids move, completely fluid? I was hoping that increased fitness would restore some of that, but the muscles around my scapula (and others) still won't let go.

Anyone have a trick for regaining fluid muscles? Yoga moves, nutritional supplements, etc?

Gerry Nowotny
03-07-2003, 09:33 AM
Janet:

Hope that you do not have my physical affliction- old age! Just kidding. I have found that good warmups (breaking a sweat) and streching and working through it helps. Spend $50 on an hour's massage. Have a good weekend!

Gerry

Robert Tappan
03-07-2003, 10:43 AM
Yogis have used turmeric for centuries for hatha yoga practices.

Here's an intro link:

http://www.yogajournal.com/health/543_1.cfm

I think the average dose is about 1 tsp daily (broken up into 2 or 3 dosages).

David Wood
03-07-2003, 02:44 PM
Janet:

You might consider the range-of-motion exercises (ROM) promoted by Pavel Tsatsouline in his book "Super Joints".

He describes a lot of movements, most of them not strenuous in the sense of requiring great physical strength, but still challenging . . . and oriented toward preserving or extending balance and range-of-motion at joints, not just stretching muscles and tendons. (He'll provide other books for you to buy to address that issue.)

I find his programs in Super Joints (he has several) actually pretty good for their purpose, and a decent supplement to CrossFit. (For most Americans, just doing one of those programs would probably produce a signficant increase in well-being . . . at least they would move.)

I would also second the recommendation for warmups (SJ can fill that role nicely), and massage.

In fact, if you're the kind of person who enjoys "bodywork" (and can afford the cost), I'd highly recommend getting "Rolfed" . . . deep tissue massage originated by a woman named Ida Rolf (hence the name), also known as "Structural Integration"). It ain't cheap, but I found it tremendously liberating, and useful for addressing areas of chronic tension and pain.

As far as getting old, I've noticed that gravity seems to be getting stronger by about 1% every year . . . slow, subtle, but continuous. Gerry, have you noticed that too?

Dave

Janet Fisher
03-10-2003, 08:26 AM
These are excellent suggestions!!! Thank you!

Gerry Nowotny
03-12-2003, 07:08 AM
David:

At 43 I feel that I am in reach of being stronger and in better shape than when I was 22 and athletic. I weigh more or less the same. I have always wanted to have 10% body fat but suspect that I am probably 12-13%.I suspect it is largely diet and I have never done alot in the way of abs. Not certain if I will ever see it.

Gerry

Robert Wolf
03-12-2003, 07:57 AM
Gerry-
Check this out:
http://aris.ss.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/evolutionaryfitness.html

that is where you could be at 63 with a paleo/zone diet ad crossfit!

Janet Fisher
03-28-2003, 01:27 PM
Regarding tight muscles again, I went for a hard-core Shiatsu massage yesterday and it's the first massage to make a difference. I like the theory behind it as well (undoing blocked blood flow, pushing everything to the extremities instead of to the heart). It was better than myofacia release, deep tissue massage, Thai massage, etc.
Next, "Super Joints" to maintain the success.

Justin Rawley
06-26-2003, 10:33 AM
Myofacial release seems to help a lot

Roger Harrell
06-26-2003, 04:21 PM
How about just stretching often? Most folks loose flexiblity and ROM as they age simply because they have a more and more sedentary lifestyle, excluding those on this board of course. But even active adults in general don't stretch enough IMHO. Most folks should get in a nice mild stretch out a few times a day if at all possible.

Robert Wolf
06-26-2003, 05:59 PM
Roger-

You are right on. Everything I have read and experienced seems to point towards small frequent bouts of stretching producing the quickest, longest lasting results.
Robb

John McCracken
06-26-2003, 10:49 PM
It's not that you get old and then you get stiff; rather, first you get stiff and then you feel old! Stretching makes a difference.

Lincoln Brigham
06-27-2003, 09:31 AM
Stretching helps, but deep tissue massage really gets the job done. Problem is, most massage therapists really aren't that good. Look for someone with at least 1,000 hours of training. Look for the kind of deep tissue massage therapist that other massage therapists go to.

My Olympic lifts went up 7.5gk during the time I was going to a massage therapist.

Dale S. Jansen
07-04-2003, 08:27 PM
YOGA.

Justin Rawley
07-06-2003, 08:16 AM
myofacial release might also help.

Janet Fisher
07-27-2003, 11:34 AM
Update: physiotherapy was the ticket in my case.

I sit at a computer all day, and apparently I was using my traps to hold form. They were totally overworked and causing tension and pain in random areas:
- collarbone (it felt like muscle was being peeled off the bone if I tried to drop my shoulders)
- under scapula (chronic knots)
- deep at the end of my shoulders (felt like they needed a crack)
- burning up the traps to the base of my skull.

The solution appears to be trying to hold a position where my shoulders are down, push the shoulderblades together, and straighten the curve in my upper back so my neck can elongate at the back.

The first week of trying to maintain this posture has hurt like hell, but as my back gets stronger, some of the chronically tight muscles are releasing. Wheewwww!