Muscle tension is a feeling of tightness or pressure in a specific muscle or group of muscles. It can affect people of all ages and is often accompanied by pain, soreness, and a restricted range of motion.
While tension can affect any muscle in the body, it is most common in the muscles of the back, neck, and shoulders. Persistent muscle tension in the neck and upper back can cause intense headaches.
Muscle tension can be caused by several different factors including:
We have found 10 of the best home remedies to help you relieve and prevent muscle tension.
A great way to prevent muscle tension is with regular exercise. If you stay active and condition your muscles for activity, they are less likely to develop tension after a day of hard work or sport. You don’t need to make the exercise intense. In fact, pushing yourself too hard can trigger muscle tension. Light exercise that strengthens and stretches the muscles is enough to keep them supple and healthy.
Topical pain relief lotion is another great option for muscle tension. Topical medications provide relief without causing the systemic side effects of oral drugs. They may be in the form of a spray, gel, and cream and are applied directly to the skin. Many topical pain relievers work to provide relief in the exact area you are experiencing pain. Look for a topical reliever that contains ingredients like menthol, arnica, or trolamine salicylate. Other great ingredients to find on the ingredient label are willow bark, capsicum, emu oil, turmeric extract, and magnesium oil.
Humans have been using heat to relax their muscles for centuries, and it is still one of the most effective ways to find relief. Heat therapy loosens up the muscle fibers and promotes circulation, which helps relieve tension.
You can try heat therapy by applying a heating pad or compress. But taking a hot bath or shower is also a good method.
When it comes to treating muscle tension, avoid cold therapy. The body’s natural response to cold is to tense up, which may aggravate your muscle tension even further.
Massage relaxes the muscles, increases circulation, and relieves tension, and it also helps relieve pain and soreness. Often, it triggers the pain relief response from the brain, causing it to release natural chemicals that reduce pain and tension.
Certified massage therapists have experience and training when it comes to working on muscle tension. They will be able to identify the different areas of your body that need work. However, giving yourself a massage during bouts of muscle tension can help as well.
Nutrition is the foundation of a healthy body. For many people experiencing muscle tension, the root cause can be caused by a lack of certain nutrients. If you deal with muscle tension, you may need to talk to your doctor about checking your levels of vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium.
Psychological triggers like anxiety and stress are some of the most common causes of muscle tension. Feeling anxious or stressed causes our muscles to tighten up, leading to soreness, pain, and tension headaches. Stress management and relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and tension.
You can try controlled breathing, meditation, stretching exercises, or consciously letting your mind rest from topics that worry you.
Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that has shown to be effective for things like pain and muscle tension. One randomized study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that acupuncture can do more to relieve pain and tension in the neck than conventional massage.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into different trigger points. When the trigger point is stimulated, it activates the nervous system in a way that relieves pain.
You could also try acupressure as an alternative. Acupressure works on the same principles as acupuncture, but instead of inserting needles, the practitioner applies pressure to the trigger points.
While activity and exercise can be important steps toward preventing muscle tension, your muscles also need enough rest. Some people overdo it at work, others might overdo it at the gym. Either way, muscle tension can come from not resting your muscles enough. If you are dealing with muscle tension, stay in tune with your body and avoid pushing it to extremes. On your next day off, try relaxing as much as possible to give your muscles a break.
Muscle tension can also be caused by poor posture and ergonomics when performing various tasks.
If you are looking to correct your posture, evaluate your back’s positioning when engaging in activities. Do you slouch when you sit or stand? Do you curve your neck downwards when using your mobile phone? Do you tend to lean to one side when you stand?
When it comes to correcting ergonomics, the process is similar. Does your office chair provide adequate support? How are things positioned around the desk? Do you hunch your shoulders? Do you have to reach out to use your keyboard or mouse?
You may need to talk to a chiropractor or a physical therapist. Also there are handy apps or devices available that evaluate your posture, give you tips, and even track your progress.
Getting a good night’s rest is important for muscle health since our muscles receive the best rest and rejuvenation during sleep. If you don’t get the sleep you need, it could lead to muscle tension.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Is your mattress right for you? Is it too firm or too soft? How are your pillows positioned? Do they put you in a position that causes stress to your muscles? Is your sleeping position causing any troubles? Do you feel pressure or tension in any muscles or joints?
Real Time Pain Relief not only cares about the quality ingredients that go into each and every one of our products – but also about the people who buy them. We hope this blog becomes a valued resource for your own personal journey to better health. For over 20 years, Real Time Pain Relief has provided family safe pain relief infused with Nature’s Ingredients. From the useful information in our articles to our high-quality products, we hope you feel better and pass it on!
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