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  • Don’t Worry if You Have the “Tightest” Muscles

    pain meter with needle on high

    It’s not a competition

    You’ve heard the argument a million times: The only person you should compete with is yourself. I know you’re just trying to get some perspective on how “bad” your body is, but comparing yourself to other people isn’t the way to do it. Your body is different than everyone else’s. It’s put together slightly differently and you use it differently than anyone else uses their body. It’s also been through different experiences than anyone else’s. Even 2 people who go through a situation together will have 2 different experiences.

    It’s the wrong question

    The questions you need to be asking are: Does my muscle tightness limit my ability to do something I want or need to do? Am I limited in my daily activities in some way? What’s “good or right” about my body right now?

    It lacks perspective

    Tight muscles aren’t always a bad thing. Sometimes they keep us from being in pain. Sometimes they keep us from a serious injury. For instance, if you’re in a car wreck and get a nasty whiplash, chances are good your neck muscles are going to be tight for a while as they try to stabilize your neck. They may stay tight forever if the ligaments got stretched too much and no longer offer the stability that’s supposed to be their primary job in your body. In that case, you actually want your neck muscles to be tight enough to provide stability without pain while still allowing movement.

    Better questions are: Why are my muscles tight? Are the tight muscles causing me pain? Are the tight muscles preventing me from doing things I need or want to? Are my tight muscles preventing a more serious problem?

    Everything’s relative

    I’ve been doing massage for over 15 years and I can guarantee that only 1 person will be the “tightest I’ve ever felt.” It’s probably not you.

    My opinion doesn’t matter…

    …and neither does the person’s who told you how horribly tight you are in the first place.

    How do you feel? Do you feel relaxed, even though someone else told you’re tight? Do you have trouble moving? Do you have pain? Are you limited in your daily activities or hobbies because of the tightness? That’s what actually matters.


2 Responsesso far.

  1. My 11 year old son is having stiff neck and shoulder muscles since 2 years. Have taken 2 x-rays in span of 1 year. No abnormality found. Please do let me know how can we remove stiffness from his muscles.

  2. If the stiffness is causing pain or limiting his ability to do things, you might consider massage or physical therapy to help determine the cause of the stiffness and to loosen the up. If he has a lot of stress (11 year olds have a lot more stress now than they did when I was 11), it could be due to that, in which case I’d work on stress reduction.