Lately I’ve had a lot of people telling me that they hurt more after they stretch than they did before they stretched. It doesn’t sound like this should happen, but it’s actually very logical when you consider what is happening.
As you exercise, or do anything that is repetitive, a by-product of muscle action, called lactic acid, is created in your muscle fibers. Lactic acid is a prime cause of muscle spasms (knots in your muscle fibers). In fact, if you simply hold a movement for an extended period of time (such as sitting at your desk for hours), your muscle fibers contract and stay shortened. You could have many spasms in the same muscle without even knowing about them, yet each knot is shortening your muscle fibers.
Since the fibers still originate and insert at the same points, the shortened fibers are pulling on both ends, causing you to have pain, and also preventing you from moving freely and easily. Think of it as a tight rope pulling on your joint while you’re trying to move it in the opposite direction. It just won’t move easily.
Then you try to stretch. However the fibers are too twisted to stretch easily and you make the knots more complicated and overstretch the fibers that are between the knots.
If the fibers are in too many spasm, you can actually tear the fibers, or pull them from the bone.
It is much safer to first release the spasms by using direct and sustained pressure, and then stretch. It’s easy and you’ll feel a BIG difference!
Wishing you well,