Why do your muscles get sore, tight, and achy? It’s not just because you’re getting older. It’s because of the collection of scar tissue and adhesions, repetitive motion, and poor posture. In this article we’re going to explore why repetitive use can make your muscles sore and tight.
Repetitive use: What is It?
Repetitive use is really what it sounds like. It’s using a muscle over and over and over again. A good example is using a mouse or typing. Nine hours of typing, that’s a repetitive use. A cashier is another good example. They are rotating their bodies left to right or right to left, and they do it over and over again all day.
It can also be something as in sports, like a marathoner, Somebody who runs 26 miles – that’s a lot of running and it’s the same repetitive motion. Tennis is another good example and so is a pitcher.
So what causes it?
It can be your job, your sport, or your hobby. It is the things you do that require repetitive use of your body.
You have to take a look at your life and find the things that cause your body to do the same type movement.
How does Repetitive Use affect the muscles?
It’s using the muscle in a way that causes the muscle to break down or wear down as it contracting and elongating. You are either using the muscle in a very short range so that only a small portion of the muscle is being used, or you are using it in its full range and the full muscle is being used. Either way you are over using the muscle, which is causing the build up of scar tissue and adhesions.
Which is worse short movements of the muscles or long movements?
I’m pretty sure there is statistical data out there, but I would say both are terrible. Because if you are in a situation where you have to type and you’re using short muscle movements and you been doing that for 23 years I guarantee that’s going to be bad. If your a tennis player and you have repetitive long range movements and now you can’t play your sport due to over use, that’s bad!
It is like the path you create on a carpet.
You can see that wear and tear. When you use some thing over and over and over again, you are going to develop a pattern. That same wear and tear is occurring in the muscles tendons, ligaments, and joints of your body. You can visually see the wear and tear on the carpet, but you can’t really see the wear and tear on the body.
If I’m a secretary and I’m on the computer all day, I can’t just quit my job! What can I do?
The first thing you need to do is to become aware of the repetitive movements that you doing.
Second, take breaks. In some work places that is hard to do, but if you can get up and move – do it!
Third, learn some stretches that you can do at the desk or office.
Fourth, set an alarm to go off every hour and take 5 minutes to walk/move and do your stretches.
Fifth, you have to start breaking up the accumulation of scar tissue and adhesion that have building up because of this repetitive movement, and you do that through foam rolling and self care.
If you feel that you need professional help connect with a Physical Therapist, Fitness Trainer or Massage Therapist, they can help you toward the right path.
Have you found that your job, sport, hobby has a repetitive motion, and has caused you problems? Has this article helped you develop a plan to make some changes to “counter” the repetitive motion?
If you would like to learn more about our online Foam Rolling Program
“Purposeful Foam Rolling”
Christina and I are the creators of the online self care course “Purposeful Foam Rolling”. We teach you how to effectively and efficiently Foam Roll. So you can take control of reducing your muscle pain and tightness. This video is for educational purposes only. We are not treating, diagnosing or prescribing. We are giving you 15 Years of experience as Neuromuscular and Sports Massage Therapist. Check with your doctor first before doing this or any exercise program.