Do Your Muscles Feel Hard As A Rock?

I had this question today from a patient.

I wanted to make sure that I answered this for everyone, too, because it’s not something that I feel like gets asked a lot.

We all know what muscle spasms are.

We all know what muscle tension is, and we all know what knots can feel like, right?

Well, this patient came in, and they said, I don’t understand why my muscle feels hard as a rock.

It’s very different than a muscle spasm.

Muscle spasm, it’s tight, but you can feel a little bit of motion when you’re pushing on it, right? Or a knot, it’s a singular knot within the muscle belly.

This whole muscle felt hard as a rock.

I wanted to go through and explain to them what’s going on with that.

When we have these muscles that are this hard, hard as a rock, right? Hard as concrete steel.

You’ve heard people say this before.

They’re super hard.

It’s because they are consistently firing, and they’re firing so fast that they’ve gone into a state of tetany.

What that means is that they’ve completely contracted to where now they’re never opening up again.

They’re just contracting.

Within there they’re doing that because they have something that’s gone on that has triggered them to never stop relaxing.

It’s almost like now they’re in this vicious cycle, right?

There’s always just tight, tight, tight, tight, tight.

It’s usually due either A, to an injury or B, due to the body’s changing of biomechanical patterns, your righting reflexes, your body is trying to get you either out of pain or to do something so that we’re level with the ground and we’re not walking around like this, aka injury, or it’s been here for a long time.

We don’t want this technique because that means that we’ve got major, major issues going on.

That’s what was going on there.

The interesting thing about this is it’s not always going to be both sides.

It can be just one side because, again, it’s all in how your body is compensating, what it’s doing movement pattern-wise, and what it needs to do to either try to alleviate some pain or get you to move and function.

That’s what it is when you hear someone say that the muscle is hard as a rock, and it is hard like that, it’s because that muscle has started firing and been firing at such a high rapid pace and doesn’t get a chance to relax, that it just has completely contracted, and it’s just like a closed fist instead of being an open hand.