When most people think about “sore” or “tight” muscles, they think those muscles need to be massaged or stretched out as much as humanly possible to fix the problem. While this may give many people temporary relief, it doesn’t actually fix the problem… in fact, in some cases, it can make matters worse. This is because “tight” and “sore” muscles isn’t always an indication that a muscle needs to be stretched… it can also be an indicator that the muscle itself isn’t strong enough.
One example of this is the muscles of the neck in people who are on their phone too much. This is commonly referred to as “tech neck” or “text neck.” An average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. When the head is tilted forward and looking down, this increases the gravitational pull on the head and neck, making the postural muscles work “overtime.” As the head tilts forward 15 degrees, the forces on the neck increase to 27 pounds… at 30 degrees it goes up to 40 pounds… at 45 degrees it is 49 pounds… and 60 degrees it gets to 60 pounds! As you can imagine, when someone does this for extended periods, the muscle of the neck will tire and start to feel “tight.” When you start to feel this tightness, it is easy to try to go into full on stretch mode to try to loosen things up. While the stretch might feel good for the time being, the real key is to strengthen the muscles of the neck!
At Hurley chiropractic, our doctors are trained to identify which muscles are weak and which are tight. We then develop a customized treatment plan to help strengthen areas that need to be strengthened and stretch the areas that actually need to be stretched. This creates better stability and balance within the spinal column and is hands down one of the best complementary treatments to chiropractic adjustments, because it can help keep the spine in alignment better and longer!