Like most, I feel it when I bend over. The back of my legs aren’t as loose and free moving as I want them to be. Don’t get me wrong, I can bend over and touch the floor with my fingers so my hamstrings aren’t short by any means (most people have trouble touching their own ankles with a straightened leg).
But I have been woken up at night by my stretching because the backs of my legs have felt tight. And interestingly, the right has felt tighter than the left. So, what is a massage therapist to do? I already get regular massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and physical therapy and those haven’t addressed (or identified) the CA– USE.
I decided to spend time in objective observation, alongside sessions of regular stretching. And there it was, I found it! I found the pattern that made the right hamstring and calf tight. The same pattern that caused a muscle that controls my big toe to get sore after walking around DC for four hours while on vacation.
Now wait a minute. Tight calf. Tight hamstring. But she can still touch the floor. Sore toe muscle. It doesn’t appear connected, or does it? What’s really going on here is an exercise in *induction*. One must understand that if a muscle is sore, it has been overworked – so the muscle responsible for moving my toe was working hard after I walked for so many hours. That muscle(s) is in the calf so that makes sense because it’s been tight. And the calf is a part of the ‘flexor chain’ on the back of the leg so if it’s tight, the hamstring may also be tight.
And where there are tight muscles, there is also a change in the structure (posture). So what about my alignment is promoting this shortness? The answer: My right hip shifts forward.
This may sound funny or strange or incredulous: How can a healthy person who receives regular bodywork treatments end up with a condition that went unidentified for months? Patterns reveal themselves but often take time to develop noticable symptoms. Follow the symptoms and don’t stop until the cause reveals itself.
This is the same process I use for resolving chronic and acute pain in clients. It works… every time.