Muscle pain – the cause lies deeper than you think
Last week, we went over one of the reasons why muscles get tight and achy, i.e. underlying weak muscles.
In today’s blog, we want to go over another reason why muscles get tight, stiff, and achy and explain it in simple terms.
Causes of muscle pain – 2) Altered nerve function
This is directly related to a misalignment in spinal joints or other joints of the body. A misaligned joint can cause altered muscle function therefore altered nerve function.
When a joint is misaligned, it will have reduced and improper movement. Muscles surrounding a joint will have proper function and activation if the joint is moving freely. Otherwise, some of the muscles surrounding the joint will become lazy, weak, and inactive (hypotonic), and some become overactive and tight (hypertonic).
For example: imagine having a cast over the left elbow joint for 6 weeks making the elbow joint immovable. Upon taking the cast off, you will notice that the muscles of the left arm are smaller and weaker than the muscles of the right arm. This is because the muscles have not had to work due to the immobilized joint. Studies have shown that the same thing can happen to a misaligned joint to a lesser degree.
What comes after inactivity in muscles is lack of nerve function. Your brain and body are connected through your nervous system. If muscles are ‘switched off’, this takes away your brain’s ability to understand what’s going on inside the body therefore your nervous system also becomes ‘switched off’.
This can create a vicious cycle because if the nervous system is ‘switched off’ then the muscles will not get the proper information from the brain, therefore, making the muscles even weaker and/or tighter and this can go on for weeks and months without you realizing it (feeling it), but the lack of balance and support around your spine and other joints will create damage to important structures such as bones, discs, cartilage, capsules and so on.
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