Tooth Fairy Science

TheKettleBellPhysioEvidence, Uncategorized0 Comments

Being told muscles are “tight” as a cause for pain is my current pet peeve.

I spent many years as a manual therapist, teaching students how to assess for and treat muscles which were, as I was suggesting, “short and tight”.

Some would now call that ‘tooth fairy science’; just because people believe in the concept doesn’t make it real.

Yes, muscles can be a source of what the nervous system interprets to be painful; muscles can limit movement; muscles can have increased ‘tone’…..but muscles are not “tight”. The term is nonsense and clinically unhelpful.

When a child puts a tooth under their pillow at night, the tooth fairy replaces it with a coin.

Here’s the adult version: a ‘therapist’ tells you that all you have to do is lie down on a table (or a spikey ball or other ridiculous pokey-thing) and miraculously your tight painful muscles will be replaced with a nice soft pain-free one with the laying-on of their hands.

If it sounds a bit ridiculous, that’s because it is.

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