Have you ever wondered why your chronic low back pain, tight hamstrings, or stiff neck and shoulder keep coming back no matter how much you stretch, use your foam roller or get regular massages? Far too many people think that stretching, stretching, and more stretching, or getting massaged week after week is the key to healing your pain. Well, I hate to break it to you, but most often, the problem is muscle weakness, not tightness!
Without movement or strengthening exercises, your muscles get weakened and deprived of a steady blood supply, oxygen, and nutrients, which leads to muscle pain. This is your body’s way of communicating with you that it needs to move and get stronger!
Here are some common causes of muscle weakness:
1) Lack of use – lack of muscle fitness (deconditioning) is one of the most common causes of muscle weakness, as a result of sedentary lifestyles.
2) Aging – Yep! As we all age, our muscles tend to lose strength and bulk, thus they weaken. This is why it is SO important to regularly exercise and strengthen your body. You are never too old to start.
3) Soft tissue injury – Muscle pulls and ligament sprains where bleeding, swelling, and inflammation caused by the damaged fibers can also cause pain and temporary weakness.
4) Infections – Infections and illnesses such as influenza, Hepatitis C, and Lyme Disease can cause temporary muscle fatigue, usually through inflammation.
5) Neurosomatic conditions (“Neuro” means the brain and nervous system and “Somatic” refers to the body)- Generalised anxiety and depression stimulate the production of chemical substances (hormones) in the body which response to pain and injury. This can lead to feelings of tiredness, muscle fatigue, or chronic pain resulting in true weakness.
Remember, this is not about having to go to the gym and do a full-body strength workout or heavy lifting. It can be as simple as doing a glute bridge exercise to strengthen your buttock muscles to reduce low back pain.
If you relate to this and want to learn how you can break the pain-weakness cycle and need guidance, we are always here for you. One of our brilliant Athletic Therapists will be happy to help 🙂
Yours in health,