Muscle tightness can be caused from a mechanical shortness or a neurological perception of tightness. Hamstrings are a great example of the difference between mechanical or neurological tightness. To test hamstring tightness, lay on your back, if you can raise a straight leg to 80-90 degrees, you do not have mechanical tightness. If you cannot raise your leg that high, then a stretching routine and soft tissue massage can help lengthen mechanically short hamstrings.
If you can raise your leg 80-90 degrees, but still feel a tightness, this may be due to overly lengthened muscles. Muscles that are overly stretched can also feel tight. Tension in overly lengthened muscles is a protection tactic to prevent strains or tears. This is called neurological tightness.
Neurological tightness is frequently caused by a muscle imbalance in which excessive pelvic tilt lengthens the hamstrings and keeps the hip flexors shortened.
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