Muscle tightness refers to increased tension or stiffness felt in the muscles that may make movements difficult, particularly after rest. You may likewise experience muscle ache, cramping, and uneasiness.
Normally, muscles relax by themselves, finding relief with normal exercise and stretching; however, muscle tension can, sometimes, indicate something more serious, particularly in cases where different symptoms are present.
What causes tense muscles?
Muscle tension regularly occurs after a workout, hard physical activity, or lifting weights. You may also feel tightness after a long period of inactivity, similar to when you get up at the beginning of the day or from a chair after sitting for quite a while.
Injuries and strains are the most well-known explanations behind muscle tightness, and may cause the following:
- Restricted movement
Other conditions that might cause tightness in the muscles may include:
- Insect bite or sting
- Chronic diseases
- Injury from excessive heat or cold
- Sedation or numbing medicine used for a medical procedure
A few of these side effects can be treated at home. Although, you may consult your doctor if your injury or strain causes extreme or chronic pain or if there are other associated symptoms, such as a fever, tingling, or numbness.
What is the treatment of tight muscles?
Treatment of tense muscles may vary depending on the cause, but can include the following:
- The amount of swelling or bleeding in the muscle can be best treated right away by applying ice packs and keeping the strained muscle in a stretched position. Warmth can be applied when the swelling has decreased, however, the early use of warmth can increase swelling and ache.
- Note that ice or warmth should not be applied to uncovered skin. So, continuously use a protective covering, such as a towel, between it and the skin.
- Ingest nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain and work on your muscle stress management.
- Avoid NSAIDs if you have a history of gastrointestinal bleeding and kidney diseases or you are on blood thinners such as coumadin.
- Protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (known as the PRICE equation) can help the stressed muscle. First, take off all constrictive clothing, including accessories, around the tense muscle, and then:
- Shield the strained muscle from additional injury.
- Rest the strained muscle by keeping away from exercises that cause tension and different activities that are painful.
- Ice the muscle region (not more than 20 minutes at a time) by applying ice packs or packets of frozen vegetables to relieve pain and inflammation.
- You may gently apply compression using elastic bandages, which can both support and reduce swelling, but make sure to not wrap too tightly.
- Elevate the injured area to reduce swelling and ease pain, such as propping up a strained leg muscle while sitting.
You may consult a doctor if home management does not provide muscle relaxation. The doctor can examine the extent of muscle tension and tendon injury and determine if crutches or braces are needed for healing. They can also provide relaxation techniques and advise you to restrict your activity or take days off work. Rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy may be required for proper muscle relaxation.
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