What causes muscle weakness?
A multitude of factors such as trauma, stress, or overuse can contribute to a muscle becoming weakened (under MAT’s definition). When you exercise, there is a period of exertion and then recovery. It is normal to feel fatigue. When there is trauma, stress or overuse, the muscle may not recover until properly rested. If this is habitual, (i.e. sitting at the computer in an ergonomically unsound position for 12 hours per day – every day for many years) then the result can be muscle weakness.
The central nervous system detects various forms of stress and orchestrates messages that may alter the ability of the muscle to contract efficiently. When a particular set of muscles are contracting (shortening), then there are also muscles that function concomitantly in lengthening. These lengthening muscles may lose their ability to lengthen as a function of the other muscles loss of ability to contract and shorten. This may be established as a protection mechanism to keep the body from moving into a position of weakness or vulnerability. A sudden trauma to the body may also cause a muscle to become weakened, such as slipping on ice and moving into an extreme range of motion suddenly. Often during a MAT session muscle “tightness” simply goes away as contraction efficiency (activation) is restored.
At MAT we say – “Muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness.” Solve the weakness and you just may solve the tightness.