Letters to Muscles

Dear Transverse Abdominus,

I’m sure you’re lovely, but this focus on you for low back pain just isn’t working out. We can still be friends, but we’re just not going to be spending a lot of alone time together. I hope you understand. It’s not about you, it’s just an evidence thing.

Dear Gluteals,

I love the work you do and you’re often nice to look at too. Most people probably spend too much time sitting on you rather than using you these days, but that still doesn’t explain why people keep saying you’re all different kinds of dysfunctional. When we walked up the stairs today, you seemed to be handling things just fine. What’s with all this sleeping and amnesia business? It makes me much more lost and sleepy than you’re supposed to be. Please write back when you have the chance. I hope you have my address somewhere; I fell asleep writing this and forgot where I live.

Dear Vastus Medialis,

The stuff you do with The Quadraceps is great. Knee extension is one of my favorite things to do. Whether it’s standing up, cycling, or walking, I’m always happy to have you around. Your solo work however… that really needs to stop. I know you got a lot of air-time when you tried to make it big on your own. Re-branding yourself VMO and claiming to cure knee pain was clever, but the 90’s are over and it’s time to come back to reality. Look, I love The Beatles, so I’d probably listen to a few songs from just Ringo, but his solo stuff is really just okay. That’s how I feel about you, Vastus Medialis. You’re wonderful with the rest of the band, but you don’t do much on your own. Stick to playing with the rest of the band and you’ll do swell.

Dear Psoas,

I’m so sorry for how you’ve been treated. You’ve been blamed for everything under the sun, but many of us can’t even agree what you do. I would say you’ve gotten a bad reputation from the company you keep, but those other hip flexors haven’t done anything wrong either. You just seem to end up near crimes you didn’t commit and getting punished for being there. I believe that you’re innocent and I’m working to clear your name. Hang in there, Psoas.

Dear Readers,

Attributing agency to muscles is absurd. People are wonderfully complex and ever-changing. Reducing people to misbehaving muscles misses this entirely. Don’t make the mistake of being treated or treating others like a pile of parts pulling on strings. We are all so much more than that.


One Comment

  1. Eric Matuszewski says:

    Great writing Matthew and a pleasure meeting you the other day!
    Dr. Eric Matuszewski PT, DPT, CSCS

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