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Do Muscles Make a Sound..?

Muscles are made up of fibres which are packed together like straws in a pack. When a muscle contracts at full strength all the straws slide themselves shorter. A contraction at half strength uses half of the straws etc… The straws in this model of muscles are called filaments. The filaments are said to slide during a muscle contraction. The sliding filaments of muscles make a ‘rumbling’ noise. A noise that could be like the sound of beating drums! Research in 1980 found a rumbling noise could be detected from a sustained muscular contraction(1).

When muscles contract they tighten then return to the previous relaxed uncontracted state. Tight musculature occurs when the neural control of muscular resting tone is confused. That means your muscles don’t fully relax or un-slide back to their original starting position. The starting position is known as the resting tone of the muscle. Therefore tight muscles are those that can’t unslide or rest. Through their sustained contraction they must be noisy. Like an over revved engine..! Are you overrevving your muscles..? Or are your muscles in a state of not resting due to what might happen in the perceived or foreseeable future..? Anxiety is a concern with the future and can tighten muscles, feeling like you have over done it. Psychological pain feels just like physical pain..!

Recent research shows there to be a change in the noise of muscles when the body is in a disease state. How the Belle Dume or muscular rumble noise changes could reveal disease progression (New Scientist May 2007). This means objective measures have shown that a healthy body makes less noise. Linking health and disease to muscular contraction / tightness. Don’t let anxiety and /or overdoing it make your brain think your body is in a disease state. Nor allow the resting tone of your muscles to rise, making your muscles more noisy. The New Scientist Report was based on research published in the journal Applied Physics Letters describing a relationship between muscular noise and disease through the study of phonomyography. 


Chiropractic Makes it Simple


When your chiropractor next utilises their tuning fork on your body to make your brain think your stagnant musculature is exercising to help return a resting tone. You’ll understand why. Because applying vibration to tendons can mimic muscle belly contraction. A true muscle contraction causes vibration along the spiders web of fascial tissue in your body. This could be why ultrasound therapy is good for tendinopathies’. If you have tight, overrevved muscles or have a sense of stiffness consider both the psychological and the physical. Book today for your consultation.



1. Oster G (1980) Low Frequency Sounds from Sustained Contraction of Human Skeletal Muscle. Journal of Biophysics 30 119-127

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