From Passive To Active Recovery,
For Muscle Strains,
Takes Longer As You Age!
The issue of muscle strains popped into my head, while I was working on my latest book, this morning, “Changing The Way You Move For Healthy Aging: Six Simple Steps To Active Golden Years, Based On Subtle Movement Training.”
This wasn’t random. I’m still working on fixing my strained left iliacus (a hip flexor), mentioned in a recent video.
Based on the history, of this muscle strains problem, I suspect the culprit to be myotropic (likes muscle) virus! Yes! Viruses can attack muscles.
Each muscle in your body has a different character, and needs be approached differently, when they are in a state of excessive tension.
In my experience, for instance:
- Hip flexors, iliacus and psoas, respond beautifully to lateral pressure (just push gently with your thumb, until the tension dissolves away).
- I wouldn’t do this with your quadratus lumborum (like a rabid octopus, stuck to your lower back), and I have no idea how to fix them, apart from time – been there, done that!
- Rollers work best for tight gastrocnemius and solius (calves), when combined with both hamstring and pyriformis (hip rotator) stretching (lengthening, really).
- If in doubt, find a good medical professional (not a doctor, if they want you to take opioids!!!), such as a Physical Therapist, Feldenkrais Instructor, or Massage Therapist.
Remember: Underneath tightness, lies weakness.
This is why you need both passive (basically rest), and active (carefully paced exercise), during the repair process.
Start with passive recovery, not for too long!
Then determine, using careful trial and error, when to start active recovery.
This is how I’ve almost fixed that pesky iliacus:
- Rest for a few days, just swimming, with little or no kick.
- Gradual increase walking distance, releasing the muscle with my thumb, when it tightens – If I don’t do this, I have to stop and wait for it to let go, or limp, which is counter-productive.
- Very short elliptical or treadmill workouts, again releasing with my thumb, as needed.
- Increase workout distance, and combine with my normal ‘stretching’ (lengthening) routine.
- Continue, until normal function returns.
Slowly build back, towards normal function.
NOTE: Recovery from muscle strains that took you days as a teenager, may require weeks to months in your 60s and 70s (I’m yet to experience my 80s, but I can imagine!)
Wishing you happy trails.