Stiffness Hides a Stability Problem and Causes a Mobility Issue

   |   By    |   Categories: Ankle Injury   Foot Injury   Hip Pain   low back pain   Shoulder Injury  

What areas of your body feel stiff/tight?

Do you constantly stretch the same muscles but the tightness ultimately returns?

For many of our clients, they haven’t realized that they are simply addressing the symptoms of stiffness and not the underlying cause.

The truth is that stiffness hides a stability problem and causes a mobility issue.

  1. poor foot stability –> stiff calf muscles –> leads to poor ankle mobility
  2. poor shoulder & core stability –> stiff lat muscles –> leads to poor overhead mobility
  3. poor core & hip stability –> stiff hip flexors –> leads to poor hip mobility

So in the examples above:

stretching tight calf muscles that are associated with poor ankle mobility without addressing the foot instability…

stretching tight lat muscles that are associated with poor overhead mobility without addressing the shoulder and/or core instability…


stretching tight hip flexors that are associated with poor hip mobility without addressing the core and /or hip instability…

…will rarely ever solve the issue.


It isn’t that stretching is bad, but we need to realize that stretching and mobility drills need to be accompanied by exercises that address the underlying stability issue.

  1.  Pair a calf stretch that is improving ankle mobility with a foot stability exercise (see examples below)
ProStretch Calf Stretch
Propriofoot Balance

2.  Pair a lat stretch that is improving overhead mobility with a shoulder/core stability exercise (see examples below)

Hanging Lat Stretch
Elbow Side Plank with Dumbell Cross Body Raise

3.  Pair a hip flexor stretch that is improving hip mobility with a hip/core stability exercise (see examples below)

1/2 Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Dip Bar Knee Raise

The following quote hangs in our treatment room at BTF:

Too many clients and therapists focus solely on the symptoms (the effect) rather than the root cause. This typically creates a temporary relief of symptoms, but rarely results in a permanent change. At BTF, we will help you get to the root cause quickly and effectively. Call us at 310-534-1900 or email to schedule your visit today!



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Dr. Chad Moreau
About Dr. Chad Moreau

Dr. Chad Moreau is the President of Back to Function, a sports chiropractic office dedicated to providing elite quality care for athletes and athletic-minded clients. He is Certified in Postural Restoration by the Postural Restoration Institute. His positions include: Chiropractic Consultant for the University of Southern California Athletics (2020-2022) & Team chiropractor for the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) from 2012-2020, Los Angeles Dodgers 2017-2019 and the Los Angeles Lakers 2020. He can be contacted at