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When we utilize our muscles on a regular basis, the muscle tissue becomes strong. This, in a sense, is the body’s way of adapting to a particular activity so that the muscles utilized for that activity will be ready for it the next time around. And the more we engage in a particular activity, the stronger those muscles become. That is why basketball players have strong shoulder muscles (rebounding, shooting, guarding), baseball players have strong forearm muscles (batting), and ballet dancers have strong calf muscles (continuous plantar flexion). Strong muscles are toned muscles, that is, they are firm to the touch as compared to weak and underutilized muscles. However, there is a difference between having healthy muscle tone and having muscle tightness. When a muscle is tight (also called hypertonic), it means that the individual muscle fibers that make up the muscle have become stuck together to form a ball of muscle tissue (muscle knot) or a strand of muscle tissue (muscle rope) which are rigid and hard to the touch. These conditions are problematic as stuck muscle tissue can compromise the overall health of the muscle by constricting normal blood flow in the affected area, hinder full range of motion of the muscle, as well as cause various levels of pain from mild to severe. Fortunately, a protocol of regular massage therapy treatments can help to release the affected fibers and return the muscle to a more healthy and normal state.