"Just a Muscle Thing"

"I'm pretty sure it's just a muscle thing."

This phrase is definitely in my top 5 list of things that really get under my skin! (Yeah yeah, no pun intended.) When people say this, they are usually minimizing a problem and implying that "all" they need is perhaps a decent massage or a simple stretch.  (And then they get annoyed that the massage, stretch, etc. "doesn't last")   Experience has shown that in the vast majority of cases, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye! First of, all, how in the world could anything be "just a muscle thing" ? Do muscles have their own volition? Do they do anything on their own? When's the last time a raw steak jumped off the plate and slapped you in the face? Muscles don't do anything on their own. They respond to the signals that they receive. Signals from where? Signals from the nervous system, and signals from the chemistry.  Do you have a muscle that is repeatedly cramping? It could be chemical -- dehydration, mineral deficiency, toxicity problem, etc.  Or it could have to do with the nerve signal coming from the spine or the brain.  Did you know that you don't always have pain when a nerve is being pinched or irritated? Pain is only one of the signals that a nerve communicates!  An irritated nerve might show more subtle symptoms - weakened reflexes, reduced sensory function, impaired coordination or strength, etc.  Not only could muscle function be impaired from the spinal level, but did you know that muscle function can be impaired if the organ that shares the nerve circuit is having trouble?  This is what is going on in the case of referred pain. Why does someone often have shoulderblade pain when they're having a gallbladder attack? Because the rhomboid muscles share a nerve supply with the gallbladder.  In the office, we see these muscle/organ correlations all the time. In fact, there's a word for it when muscles and joints are out of balance because of organ problems: viscerosomatic.  In these viscerosomatic cases, we see things like chronic tight hamstrings that are really being caused by large intestine problems, or weak lats due to blood sugar problems, or weak lower leg muscles due to dehydration and kidney stress... the list goes on! So the next time you are having muscle pain or weakness (ESPECIALLY MYSTERIOUS RECURRING OR NON-HEALING muscle problems that don't make much sense), don't just shrug it off as "probably just  a muscle thing." Get it checked out by a health practitioner who knows about viscerosomatic conditions. You will be glad you did, and then you can get back to doing the fun stuff that healthy muscles are known for. :)

And that is all I have to say about that!

-DK