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Ever wonder why your hamstrings persistently feel tight? Consider this: maybe it’s not your muscles but your nerves trying to protect you. We included a simple test with a solution for your tightness. Let’s dive in.

tightness; nerves; muscle; test

Muscle vs. Nerve Tightness

Conduct a simple test (see video ⬇️ ):

tightness; nerves; muscle; test

  • Muscle tightness?
    • The tightness in your hamstring DOES NOT change with the position of your ankle
  • Nerve tightness? Mobilize with exercise below ⬇️
    • The tightness in your hamstrings DOES change with the position of your ankle

Test Results

Muscle Tightness:

  • A tight muscle is a weak muscle. Solution?

Nerve Tightness:

  • Mobilize ⬇️
    • 1) Push hands down into the ground (tightening core)
    • 2) Lift leg until you feel mild tightness in your hamstrings
    • 3) Bend and flex your ankle for 3×10 reps each side
    • 4) Reassess your tightness
  • AND strengthen!

Nerves need:

  1. Space 🚀
  2. Blood 🩸
  3. Movement 🏃‍♀️

Key to Mobility

Picture this: nerves sending signals, creating tightness. It’s not muscle inflexibility–it’s nerve communication to the muscle. Recent studies suggest the issue may be lack of nerve mobility, not just muscle tightness (research below). Incorporating controlled strength throughout your entire range of motion defines true mobility, and discovering the delicate equilibrium between strength and mobility serves as the key to achieving a life free from persistent pain.


Work smarter not harder with your mobility routine. Need assistance? Schedule a free 15-minute assessment with one of our doctors to find the root cause of your pain (or lack of mobility).

tightness; nerves; muscle; test

The Research:

  1. The Effectiveness of Neural Mobilization for Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions.
  2. Assessing Pain Research: A Narrative Review of Emerging Pain Methods.
  3. The effect of neurodynamic technique of tibial nerve on range of motion.
  4. Immediate effects of a neurodynamic sciatic nerve sliding technique on hamstring flexibility and postural balance.
  5. The long-term effect of neurodynamics vs exercise therapy on pain and function.
Tyler Waterway

Author Tyler Waterway

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