T Nation

Having Issues with Muscle Tightness/Lack of Mobility


#1

First of all, this is my first post, so I apologize in advance for any and all wrongdoings, anything I do/say that may be improper for this forum, and if this is in the totally wrong location (I did scour the list of forums and this one seemed to be the most appropriate).

I have some tightness/lack of mobility in some areas that no matter I do never relent. I’ve tried dynamic stretching, static stretching, foam rolling, using a lacrosse ball, using heat/ice, doing self massage with those hand rollers, have completed mobility programs like Limber 11 and more. I feel a lot more loose overall. I will admit, I have been rather neglectful of stretching, which was what lead to my first big injury of Costochondritis years ago (no fun).

Anyway, my current “big” issues are the two following ones, of which I will give my ideas as to what it may be as well:

Elevated/Anterior Tipped Scapula
First, my shoulder on my right side is a bit elevated and seems to be anteriorly tipped. It is not horrendous, but it can be seen visually, and I hate it. It is also seen when doing back squats (I have a mirror in front of me); I don’t feel like the bar is imbalanced, but I can visually see my right shoulder needs to be rotated back a bit - tucking my elbow further forward helps with this.

I was told by an Orthopedist years ago (when I had another issue) that it seems that I had a tight Scalene or Levator Scapulae muscle on the right side. A PT gave me the towel stretch to do at home and they did some minor work, but they mostly focused on the aforementioned injury. To this day, even with various stretching, it still feels this way, maybe even worse (I remember the elevation, but the forward rotation [protraction] is something I don’t recall being so strong. Maybe because I finally started doing back squats and it looked more pronounced in this movements when setting up?)

Now I am trying to ensure of healthy scapula movement. I have included a myriad of retraction movements, including more rows, reverse flyes, etc. into my workouts. I recently started working moreso on lower traps, which are supposed to posteriorly tilt the scapula.

I have a feeling, aside from maybe tight Scalene/Levator Scapulae, I probably have tight pectoral minors. I work a desk job, so it makes sense with the typing position that they’d get tight. Heck, my left pec minor was even hurt the other day during a routine bench press that I’ve never had issues with. Well, not realllyyyy hurt, but it feels a little strained (been using ice, stretching, massage, rest, etc).

I go to many places and read so many different potential remedies. “Stretch this way!” and “Strengthen this immediately!” and such, but not much helps, at least not as much as these videos/articles tend to lead me to believe they will.

For this, I’ve also been doing a little bit of Thoracic Extension work every so often.

Right Hip/Lower Back Region
My right hip region. My walking feels off, my squats feel a bit off (have been getting better when going slower and deeper [ayo!]), it just feels… off. It feels elevated on the right side, but it also feels unilaterally tilted anterior-wise. Due to all of this, I’ve suffered immense back pain on my right side only randomly (usually in the morning when waking up, but it may come for a few days and not show up for weeks or longer). I also think it’s taking a small toll on the opposite (left) knee, since it seems to be taking the brunt of most walking and general activities. Even during abdominal exercises like reverse crunches and exercise ball crunches, my right side on the anterior side even feels a bit… tight, with reverse crunches feeling like they’re not getting full range of motion.

When walking in particular, my left leg feels relatively natural. However with my right leg, it feels a bit externally rotated and it’s like my step starts right under my hip, rather than in front, if that makes sense.

I’ve tried Limber 11, foam rolling, stretching my hams/quads/hip flexors/QL/glutes/etc, strengthening the glutes, strengthening my core, etc. It still feels off, albeit I feel a bit more limber. I’ve read countless articles, watched many videos, and even saw a Massage Therapist and Chiropractor (the Massage Therapist was alright, but was too rough; the Chiro would adjust me weekly and say "Lets see how it is next week! It never did much except maybe the day of, which was the cause for me not returning anymore since it was like it was a quick, very temporary, and not even complete “fix”).

Well, what is it? Recently I was told it may be the QL, which explains the unilateral elevation on my problem (right) side. I think my right glute may be tight in some regions. I think maybe it is some oblique issue as well, since my trunk feels ever-so-slightly rotated to the right. I originally thought it may be my Hip Flexors due to the symptoms and general activity (tightness in lower back, slight APT, constant sitting at work at a desk or driving, etc).

Overall, I am not sure where to even go from here. I was planning to possibly see a new Massage Therapist since these are imbalances, not injuries. This would be in conjunction with my home care. I do want to be rather preventative in nature as well for future regions of the body, so stuff like this doesn’t happen. I am only 28 (29 in less than 2 weeks)!