Muscle tension is often caused by stress and can be very annoying. Here's how to solve the problem
Muscle tension is an annoying disorder often caused by anxiety or incorrect posture. In this article you will find out what are the most common causes of muscle tension and how you can help alleviate it.
What is muscle tension?
Sometimes we don't even feel it. Other times, however, it becomes so annoying as to prevent us from carrying out our daily activities. What are we talking about? Muscular tension, or stiffening of the muscles.
Usually, muscle tension affects the neck, back and legs causing discomfort and pain. Contrary to what one might think, not only are people who perform sedentary activities and do little sport more frequently affected by problems of muscular tension, but also those who carry out intense sports activities.
The causes of muscle tension
There are many factors that can lead to more or less marked muscle tightening:
- anxiety and stress are two of the main and most frequent causes of this disorder. Too many thoughts, family or work tensions, a life with frenetic rhythms can have repercussions also on the physical;
- maintaining a wrong posture for a long time can lead to the onset of muscle tension;
- if you happen to have an accident, a possible whiplash can cause a tightening of the neck and back muscles;
- neck muscle tension is also a consequence of chronic cervical pain and stiff neck;
- as we have said, even a too intense sport activity can cause muscular tension;
- the changes that the body undergoes during pregnancy can lead to stiffening of the muscles in different parts of the body, in particular of the back and legs;
- some serious diseases, such as fibromyalgia, cause muscle tension;
- lack of vitamins and minerals.
What are the symptoms?
Muscle tension is often accompanied by pain, other times only by an annoying feeling of stiffness. In both cases, to regain wellness, it is important to intervene as soon as possible to dissolve the contractures. Here are the most common symptoms of muscle tension:
- stiff neck and headache;
- dizziness and loss of balance, if the tension affects the neck area;
- heaviness in the head and visual problems;
- stiff back, if the affected muscles are those of the torso.
Stress muscle tension: how to fight it?
As stated by Marcello Chiapponi, specialist in Physiotherapy and personal trainer, in many cases muscle tension is caused by stress; and the reason for that stress, almost certainly, is a hectic life full of commitments. Here's what to do to reduce stress-related muscle tension problems:
One of the first steps to solve the problems of muscle tension caused by stress is therefore to carefully organize one's commitments, giving priority to urgent ones and leaving aside the less important ones; above all, it is advisable to take breaks during which you can completely unplug and relax, without thinking of anything else.
Thermotherapy to dissolve muscle contractures
Before using painkillers to relieve pain and discomfort caused by muscle tension, you can try to intervene more naturally by applying a self-heating adhesive band to the area affected by the contracture: the heat produced by these bands and plasters is an excellent ally to fight pain.
Follow a postural gymnastics
A postural gymnastics helps to loosen the tension of the muscles in case it is due to an incorrect posture, while certain techniques of flexion and breathing exercises are useful both to relax the muscles and to keep stress under control.
Follow a diet rich in magnesium and potassium
Magnesium and potassium deficiency is one of the causes of muscle tension, so following a diet rich in magnesium and potassium can help fight it. Magnesium in particular in fact has muscle relaxant properties and helps to resolve stiffening of the muscles.