Home - Fixing Backs, Pain, Stress and Tightness with Structural Integration
Free Booklets List
Accumulated Shortness Intro  
 Next Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Part 6


by Lou Gross, School Certified Master Postural Integrator,
27 years successful experience    
For more information & free consultations, call 321-726-9083


Section 1.  Overview.  This kind of pain is a symptom of a systemic problem.  A close analysis, to find out why, shows there are a lot of shortened muscles causing the problem.  Besides creating pain, the shortness also decreases a person's physical performance and can limit his or her everyday capabilities.  This shortness is located all over the body, even in areas where there is no pain.  And usually, there's nothing that doctors can find "wrong" with the muscle.  A correct analysis and correction of this systemic problem requires someone trained in this specialized field.  This work is not a part of regular medical nor chiropractic practice, nor even of physical therapy, acupuncture and regular massage.


           Chronic structural pain affects many people.  The most common problems are back pain, shoulder tightness, neck stiffness, sciatica, pinched nerves and carpal tunnel syndrome. Modern western medicine's approach to many of these conditions is allopathic, or symptom oriented.  It often considers the part in pain by itself, separate from the rest of the person's whole structure, and may even offer the attitude that if the pain is corrected, the person will be OK again.

            This is not correct, at least in the majority of cases that are caused by tightness.

            Local correction "only" can, of course, often cure the pain caused by physical damage from a direct blow or laceration.  And a reflex pain in an acupuncture point, caused by digestive stress on internal organs can often be corrected by healing the organs.

            But in all my 17,000 hours clinical experience since 1982, I have yet to see a chronic structural pain caused by tightness to be coming only from that one muscle or one joint area's tightness. At the very least, ongoing sore arm conditions in massage therapists, surgeons, auto mechanics, carpenters and baseball players always includes tightness in all the muscles of that arm, and hand, and usually through the shoulders, chest and back, and then down into the other arm and hand as well.  We also find shortness in the muscles even in the abdomen, pelvis and legs.  They pull through the muscles’ “interconnections” and that makes the arm muscles even tighter than if they were only tight on their own.

The more of this tightness that’s re-lengthened, the better the arm in pain feels, and the longer it stays without pain. What's more, people can actually feel their bodies becoming more and more flexible, more deeply relaxed, more powerful and even more "alive."  This same improvement can be felt during the re-lengthening of the many short muscles that are causing other pains as well.

            In other words, as the whole body structure is returned to a longer, or healthier condition, the pains of the unhealthy condition go away. (Or at least, in the case of damaged tissue, the damaged area feels looser and less stressed upon.  So it can have a chance to heal with good nutrition and perhaps some physical therapy).

            In all fairness to many doctors and other health professionals, an attempt to stretch the tightness is indeed part of the healing protocol.  But what is often not seen, even by sincerely caring practitioners, is the overall nature of the problem, how much tissue is so significantly shortened all over the body, and to such a deep level down through layers of muscles.  In addition, the usual techniques of stretching, massage, physical therapy and even strengthening, haven’t been able to cure the problems, at least not in the people who have finally found me.  I venture to say, that if these methods were indeed highly successful, one would hope that all these chronic pains, and the "coping with chronic pain" support groups, would both disappear!

            This booklet explains the condition of "tightness caused pain" from perhaps a different angle than you have heard about before, because we're going to de-mystify the underlying cause of all those pains that your doctor has given you labels for, pains he or she hasn't been able to fix.  And while very explanatory, it's only an introduction to the significant, life long benefits people have received from this treatment.

I recommend you read one or more of my other articles and booklets.  They’re easy to understand and give you a fuller picture of what can be done.
        They really explain 1.) how we develop systemic shortness, 2.) how that significantly limits our performance, and 3.) how you can have a much better performing body that feels a lot better and looks a lot nicer, too.


            Chronic structural pain due to tightness is an indication that the soft connective tissue system all over the body is significantly bunched up, or shortened, and the pain is felt where the most amount of excessive pull or misalignment becomes focused.

            The cause of this systemic bunching up is that the person has been using his or her body in an increasingly inefficient way.  That is, as the shortness has accumulated more and more, the way the person's body functions overall has become less and less effective, and less and less efficient. The person can't do the things he or she used to be able to do because his or her body structure has gone further and further away from its biologically designed shape.  It has been operating below its potential, even before any pain has been felt or damage has occurred.  And this inefficient muscle and joint behavior has usually gone on for some time before things became so short or misaligned that pain occurred.

            To jump ahead in my explanation for a moment, the lengths of the bones and "muscle fiber" part of the muscles always seem to be right for each other, to provide the person with maximum flexibility without pain. Even the nerve operation is OK, (except for when the shortness causes them to get pinched in between some bones). It is the shortened "soft connective tissue" element of our muscles that creates the problem.  This improper shortness is what "distorts" the relationship between the lengths of the muscles and the lengths of the bones; it makes the muscle parts shorter than they're supposed to be.  This shortness and distortion decreases the person's performance level in many areas of life, not just the physical.  And the limitations are usually in direct proportion to how short the system has become.

            Since we use our muscles to express ourselves, emotional and enthusiastic mental expression is limited.  The muscles don't go as far, and they don't move together as well. The behavior can even become somewhat negative; some people are overly tense and outwardly aggressive, others are withdrawn and held back.  The body's biological energy flow is also decreased, the metabolic blood and lymphatic flow goes through compressed vessels, and even one's mental awareness and the ability to receive and process a lot of information gets reduced.

            Systemic shortness, and compression, in the soft connective tissue reduces and limits our ability to function on all levels, in the physical, professional and interpersonal world. This has been proven thousands of times over the past four decades by both personal and observational experience, and clinically measuring.  Significant improvements occur when a lot of the shortness and compression are removed.


            Let's look at it another way as well. In light of what I said about more and more tightening up, chronic structural pain is therefore an indication that the particular part of the person's body has not been properly addressed.  Repeated usage of the body in a particular way, without sufficient regard for erasing the accumulation of shortness, usually results in problems:  First there's greater and greater inefficiency, often felt as tightness.  Then there's the pain and/or injury. And then the person may add even more tightness to accomplish his or her efforts, even "through" the pain.

            Don't you think this is a shame?  Not only does my heart go out to the elderly people who push themselves this way because they know of no other choice, but as a trained electrical engineer, I think it's an inefficient waste when an athlete has to stop competing or a professional's high quality work suffers.  In all three of these kinds of conditions, I have used the understanding explained in this booklet to rapidly restore the people to a much happier state: no pain, and a lot more flexibility, relaxation and "aliveness."

            I wrote this booklet to point out this systemic condition.  And I've described how it causes the pains many of us get, including ones that many health professionals think are incurable.  Then I explain how they are curable, how they can be greatly diminished and even fixed, relatively quickly and easily, and for a reasonable cost.


            Perhaps you, or people you know, have sought help from medical doctors.  In that case, the doctor may have focused on nerve problems, or pinched nerve conditions, or said you have inflammation.  You may have been told you have arthritis, or fibromyalgia.  But if many of these suspected problems have not shown up on tests, the patient is often at a loss about what to do.  And even when they do show up on the tests, the suggested treatments might range from intrusive surgery, that may not fix the problem, to anti-inflammatories and rest, that also may not cure the problem.

            We should understand that a medical doctor's training does not include the specialized field of detecting and correcting the shortness in the soft connective tissue system.  While doctors do know that soft connective tissue exists, and even that it can tear, the established western medical model does not address the body's soft connective tissue system as the structural component that it is.  So it cannot fix the problems caused by its systemic shortness.

X-rays and MRI's do not directly show that the soft connective tissue system is bunched up, that is, it's shortened from how long it is designed to be.  They will show where a nerve’s being pinched between two vertebrae, and that’s a result of shortened soft connective tissue.  But the doctors who administer and read the tests don't look for a lowered level of performance in either a person's structural ability or metabolic functioning caused by this kind of shortness alone.  Yet when I treated Olympic team athletes, they all noticed significant improvements in both areas; performance and recovery time went up at the same time that the pains and tightness diminished and then went away.

            Correcting shortened soft connective tissue systemically is a specialized field.  Fewer than 15,000 people have been trained to do this work, worldwide, in over 30 years.  Yet there are over 15,000 massage therapists in the state of Florida alone, and almost 100,000 medical doctors in California.

            Further, most other, "alternative" health professionals do not address this problem of systemically short soft connective tissue.   Chiropractors, acupuncturists, foot reflexologists, and most massage and physical therapists are not formally trained to detect and correct systemically short soft connective tissue.  And most are also unaware that many of the problems they are locally concerned with are being caused, at least in part, by that systemic shortness, often coming from other tight muscles in the body.

            Many of these practitioners will, indeed, release some chronic tightness due to muscle tension, misaligned vertebrae, pinched nerves and physiological problems of the organs.  But if your pain and lowered level of performance is indeed also caused by shortness in the soft connective tissue system, and this is not corrected, then even their best treatments cannot fully clear your condition.

            In a lot of cases, the systemic shortness also doesn't even allow their work to have much effect.  Muscles are held short, and tight, by this component, not by the nerves and muscle fibers.  And hot packs, massage and exercise cannot lengthen them fully for many people.  Yet, by performing the specialized manipulations to spread the soft connective tissue back out toward its full length, the muscles, and joints all get a lot better.  In fact, I have consistently found for almost 20 years, that people's bodies respond much better to almost all other forms of treatment after the shape and length of their soft connective tissue system has been improved.

            A number of medical doctors, chiropractors and massage therapists have been clients of mine.  They came in suffering from some kind of chronic pain or lowered level of performance caused by this systemic kind of shortness.  In all the cases I remember, when the treatment re-lengthened and better organized their soft connective tissue systems, their structures worked, felt and looked better.  It usually took away their pain and always improved their physical and mental performance, in their jobs, and in their personal and athletic lives as well.

 Next Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5     Part 6          TOP      HOME

Hit Counter

Copyright 2002   Louis A. Gross   All Rights Reserved