Tips for avoiding the dreaded shin splint, and what to do once you have them. We all know the pain of getting back into an exercise routine, and unfortunately for most of us, warm weather gets us outdoors, only to leave us laid up on the couch with major muscle pain.
Y'all a bunch of tight asses! Literally...
And I don't mean this in a way that you've got great butts. I mean you have so much tension in your glutes from sitting and stressing that you may have forgotten what a soft, supple butt feels like. This is a tricky post. How your butt feels is what I'm talking about, not feeling other peoples butts. Trust me, as a massage therapist I feel other peoples butts all the time, and I know this is an issue.
You have no idea just how much tension you're carrying in your tushie cause you've been penny pinching with your butt cheeks for so long that your body has simply accepted this current state of hyperbuttnicity as normal. Okay, I made that word up. but hypertonicity refers to a muscle that is too tight for its' own good. Its' actually restricting the blood supply to the tissue, and if this persists, muscles can become as hard as bones. Which is not a good thing. Sciatica, lower back pain, knee pain, IT band syndrome, bursitis, are some of the possible symtoms of hypertonic glutes.
I've talked before about our bodies amazing ability to adapt, unfortunately this process becomes problematic when the demand is sitting or standing for hours, and hours, over months and years. Eventually the blood flow to your tush gets restricted by this behavior and end result, tightness so ingrained deep into your glutes that the bones of the pelvis begin to get pulled by your glute muscles so much so that your sacrum and ilium or SI joint can become inflamed. I won't bore you with the anatomical details and possible conditions that become affected by the relationship of the bones of your pelvis, suffice it to say, the lumbar spine and the femur are directly impacted. Hence, low back pain, knee pain, and various hip conditions can be directly traced to stress and tension in your butts.
3 easy ways to loosen up your glutes
- Spend more time stretching deeply your hip socket, challenging your range of motion in pigeon pose.
- Don't ever stand still. Gently sway, challenge your hip mobility, forward, backwards, side to side, rock those hips around.
- Deep tissue massage, or any soft tissue stimulus that can precisely target the small muscles around your femur head, along your ilium, and along your sacral ridge.
I recently a client relay the following sentiment on this exact point. I'm paraphrasing my client on the affect of hip related to lower back pain. 'It was amazing how before the visit, bending down caused such pain and now, the pain is gone. I never would have imagined my hips causing my back pain. But as soon as we finished our last session, and using the STARwrap on the areas you told me to focus, I was able to break up the tension using it everyday. I just want to get better. Using it (STARwrap) on the bed while I was laying down, it resolved my back pain. This client is a nurse on her feet all day long working 14 hour shifts.
And just a friendly reminder, muscles that are soft and supple have more shape and contour than those that are tight. Just sayin...
I meet with more and more people who share their own unique stories of musculoskeletal pain and discomforts. I'm reminded how little is known about the causes of pain, and what can be done to reduce it. It isn't any ground breaking idea, it is quite simply two requirements necessary to restore muscle tissue health.
#1 is application of direct pressure to the muscles responsible for the pain.
Direct pressure can be massage, foam rolling, tennis balls, and of course the STARwrap.
We are working for the next month on educational videos that will delineate which muscles and areas of the body to target for specific pain conditions. *Please reply with your musculoskeletal pain complaint and we will create a video just for you on how you can treat it.
#2 is consistency of that direct pressure.
When a client asks me how long should I wear a STARwrap or self-massage or apply any positive stimulus? My answer is as long as it takes to release it. You can't overdue your recovery effort if you are listening to your body. When you feel a muscle relaxing and unwinding under the pressure, it hurts so good. The pain should reduce if you are targeting a muscle and not a tendon or nerve.
What is most important is creating a habit of placing recovery efforts on equal status with training, sport, and exercise.
Finding this balance will unleash your athletic potential.