What causes hypertonic muscles?
A hypertonic muscle is one that is over-restrictive to stretch and its range of movement is usually tight and sore. Muscles that have become hypertonic through injury or over-use tend to be responsible for a lot of the imbalances that occur in the posture, nervous system, cerebro-spinal fluid flow and meridian energy flow.
Pain, restricted range of motion and weakness due to muscle proprioceptors being in a confused state can often be caused by the following;
- emotional stress – jaw clenching, neck and shoulder tightening, back stiffening, psoas tightening
- over-exertion – work , athletics and sport, dance, injury or accident
- quick unexpected movement – slip, jerk or fall
- misuse – poor posture, sitting (causes hypertonic hamstrings), high heels (causes hypertonic gastrocnemius)
In some cases there can be an emotional component underlying the physical problem so that even though the muscle has healed physically, it still retains memory of the event, continuing to restrict range of motion and causing pain, keeping it in a state of shock. Some possible other causes are food intolerances, illness, physical defects, birth trauma and poor work habits.
Every muscle in the body has spindle cells located in the belly (fattest part) of the muscle and functions like a radar station; monitoring the distance between stations (cells), regulating the rate of change in distance (length) of the muscle and the time that change takes to occur from one point to another. By clearing these hypertonic muscles via resetting of the spindle cells, the erroneous pain goes away and the integrity of the muscle returns allowing for more flexibility and relaxation within the body.