Tight Hamstrings or Tight Nerves…?

   Thursday, October 5, 2017

   Competitive Edge

If you find yourself constantly rolling and stretching your hamstrings to no avail keeping you from reaching your goal of finally being able to touch your toes, it might not be your hamstrings that are tight at all, it might be nerve tightness!!

Your nerves run from the base of your skull all the way through your body. Each nerve runs through a sheath (imagine a rope running through a tube sock) and sometimes this sheath can get stuck creating extra tension on your nerves. This in turn can result in tightness that can often be mistaken for muscle tightness.

A way to test for nerve tightness in your legs is the Slump Test. To perform this test you will sit down on a chair and slump down into bad posture with your shoulders rounded and your head down towards your chest. Next you will stretch out one leg in front of you with your toes pointing towards the roof. If you feel tightness anywhere in your back or in the back of your leg then you need to lift your head up so you are looking straight forward. If the tightness gets better then it means you have nerve tightness and not muscle tightness!

So how do you get rid of this nerve tightness? Nerve flossing!! You are going to get back into the position you were in for the slump test and you are going to lightly point and flex your foot OR lift and lower your head for 30 reps. This will help get that nerve gliding properly through its sheath and allow you to finally be able to touch your toes! Just remember that nerves are very sensitive and this stretch is going to be very light, in this case pain does not equal gain.

So instead of spending hours rolling and stretching with no success, try some Nerve Flossing!

Written by Brodie Lefaivre,Certified Athletic Therapist

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