Many people have tight muscles. They can be annoying, make it harder to move, and sometimes are really painful.
Yet when people stretch, exercise, get massages, rub cream on it and try 500 other things, the tight muscles remain.
Why is that?!?!?
Well as it so happens, a muscle only does something when a nerve tells it to.
In Quantum Chiropractors episode #6, we talk about how nerves get irritated and how that leads to chronic muscle tension.
If you are sick of feeling like you are stuck in a vice grip, check out the episode to learn more. If you are ready to do something about it, click here for a free 1-1 call with me. In 10 minutes I can let you know if it sounds like irritated nerves may be causing your muscle pain and show you a new path to move forward.
To Your Tremendous Health,
Episode 6 Transcript:
Hello and welcome to episode six of the quantum chiropractor's podcast. My name is Dr. Jake Dodds. I'm excited to get started with you today. We've been talking about there's two root causes that get missed all the time when it comes to our health. One is structure, so your body has to be in a good position if it's going to feel and function well.
And today we're going to be doing more of a deep dive into our structure. Because we did a brief overview where structure gets misconstrued a lot because we always think about structure in terms of just muscle and bones. So if you just move a muscle a certain way, you'll be able to get to a good position.
The reason this doesn't work, and the reason so many people are stretching and doing all these exercises to get their bodies to a new position, and yet it's not working, is because a huge layer of your structure is missed and doesn't get talked about nearly enough. And that's what we're going to delve into today.
So what is this mystery layer? What is this mystery player? It is your nerves. So again, we don't really always think about how our body works or how these different things kind of come together because What ends up happening is people end up with tight muscles. It's like, man, I got a huge knot. I can't move my neck.
I press on it. It feels super tender or it like feels like I get this big distribution effect through my neck and shoulder and everything. So what ends up happening is a lot of times when our structure is not ideal, the muscles are doing whatever they can to help the body out, which usually means they're contracting and they're working way harder than they're designed to do.
So, of course, it's very natural to say, yeah, I got an issue in my muscle because it hurts and when I touch it, it feels weird and I can't. Move it very far. So there's a problem with the muscle. Well, yes and no, because if we take a look just one step deeper at human physiology, we start to see that a muscle can only contract in the human body when a nerve gives it a signal to contract.
Muscles are very basic tissue. They simply do what they're told. Yet, when people have had muscle tension. for three weeks, three months, three years, three decades. And I asked him, has anyone ever looked at your nerves? The answer is invariably no. Like, it just doesn't get talked about or looked at a whole lot.
So with that, there's two different things that I want to talk to you about today because the nervous system, uh, as you get down to the nitty gritty details, can become super complex. But at the overall view, pretty basic. So there's something called your peripheral nervous system. Which means that these are the nerves that are going out to the periphery of your body, if you will.
The other thing is we have our central nervous system, which is a brain. brainstem, which we're going to talk about here in a second and the spinal cord. So again, we got our central nervous system and our peripheral nervous system. Now, both of these nerves can get irritated. So the peripheral nerves, as they're branching off your spinal cord, they come out between these tiny, well, not tiny, but, uh, small holes in between your joints in your spine.
So your spine is a stack of bones. The way the bones stack up is there's little holes for the nerves to come out. And then they go out to like, for example, down through the arm and into the fingers or out into the back and around into the abdomen or down the legs. So, everyone in our body has nerves that connect it, but they all originate in one form or another from the central nervous system and then they're leaving the spine and going onward.
A lot of compression of peripheral nerves actually happens right as the nerve is leaving the spine. So again, if you know you have poor posture, if you find yourself slumping a lot, or if your head's coming forward way in front of your body, Not only is it a postural issue, but it's a neurological issue because then the windows that the nerves are coming out of the spine, they start to get stressed and there starts to be more inflammation there.
And anytime a nerve gets irritated, it starts going through a process called hyperfacilitation. The name's not important. What it means is the nerve gets irritated and it starts firing more or more intensely than it would otherwise. So if we look at that, if a nerve is firing more intensely, faster than it normally would, and that nerve is going to a muscle, guess what the muscle does?
It contracts more than it normally would. It stays contracted longer than it normally would. So from that perspective, again, dialing this back and seeing that the peripheral nerve being irritated can cause muscle tension is really important. Similar story, but perhaps even more so is the central nervous system.
So in particular, your brain connects to your spinal cord right here at the top of the neck. There's an inch and a half tissue called your brain stem that connects the two, and it's home base to 80 percent of your autonomic nervous system. Autonomic nervous system is the part of your body that happens automatically.
You don't have to think about beating your heart. You don't have to think about digesting your food. It happens automatically. What also is controlled automatically is the postural muscles of your body. So in your brain stem, the right side of your brain stem controls the right postural muscles through the back.
And these are really big, powerful muscles that connect your shoulder to your hips. And the left side controls the left side. So same thing, a lot of people have asymmetrical misalignments between their skull and their neck. So their neck is leaning, their head is tilting, there's twisting between the head and the neck.
And what happens to that space that the brain stem has to operate in? It closes down and usually one side gets affected more than the other. I see this for people all the time as well, where it's not one muscle that's tight, it's all one side of their body that's tight and it can range all the way from the neck down to the hip and even the leg.
And people will notice this a lot of times. So it's like, yeah, I always get pain in my right hip, my right leg. They're like, everything's on one side, or I always notice consistently that everything's showing up here. So people kind of notice things that happen a lot consistently. But again, nobody ever looks at the control box to see if there's an issue there.
So what we see for people all the time is if we get things into a better position, if the structure gets into a more neutral space where we take away that turning, that twisting, that bending, the brain stem can then automatically start to regulate the muscle, the postural muscles throughout the body better and way better balance between the right side and the left side happens.
And actually this is a good picture right here. So we see it all the time, the contraction happens, the leg comes up, the shoulder comes down and everything is then affected. So it's not one thing. And I've said it before, I'll say it again, the human body is very interconnected and it's rarely one thing.
It's almost always that combination of factors. So big takeaways from today is that if you have nerve stress, you also have muscle stress. And if you have muscle stress, it's probably smart to take a closer look to see if there is nerve stress going on. So thanks for tuning in to get today guys. Just know that muscle tension is usually more complex than just rubbing a cream or having to stretch it.
There's other layers that need to be peeled back, especially if it's been going on for longer than three to six months. Thanks for tuning in today. Can't wait to keep the conversation rolling, stay healthy.