Have you ever woken up from a sound sleep and feel pain when you want to stand up? This often happens when a sudden involuntary contraction of the muscles occurs. It is known as a muscle spasm. You would find it more difficult to move than usual. Tight muscles would not only limit your movement but also cause pain, cramping, discomfort, and frustration.
Even though tightening of the muscle can sometimes be a sign of something more serious, it is usually not a cause for concern. This article is going to show you what causes a muscle to tighten up and some other useful information about muscle spasms. Read further!
What Causes Muscle Tightness or Spasms?
But why do muscles stiffen after exercises? During exercise the muscle expands but when you stop an exercise the muscles contracts. The contraction of the muscles causes the muscle fibers to be shortened, and it increases the tension in the muscle. After a complete contraction, tension would be reduced, and muscle fibers would increase in length. However, fatigue or improper nutrition and hydration can cause the fibers of the muscle to remain shortened leading to muscle tightness.
- Prolonged Inactivity
- Other Common Reasons Why Muscle spasms can Occur
- Infections - Illnesses such as polio, HIV, tetanus, lupus, meningitis, and influenza are some of the infections that commonly cause tightness of the muscle
- Stings or bites - Sometimes stings and bites from insects such as spiders, bees, ticks, wasps, mosquitos and horseflies can result in muscle spasms
- Medications - Some medications such as anesthetics and drugs prescribed to lower cholesterol can cause a muscle to tighten up.
- Additionally, lack of proper sleep, poor diet, being overweight, damp or cold environment, and lack of physical activity in your daily life can cause muscle tightness.
Most doctors will recommend specific care for your overly tight muscles depending on the cause. However, as a general rule, if the spasm is not resulting from an injury or strain of the muscle then apply a warm to hot compress on the area for 20 minutes may improve the condition.
If the muscle spasm is the result of an injury or strain then ice is commonly a better choice to help reduce inflammation first and foremost. Doctors will often recommend heat for 20 minutes followed by a cold compress for 20 minutes in an effort to reduce spasm and then reduce pain.
Additionally, specific vitamins and other supplements, sound nutritional habits, improving posture, staying hydrated, stretching, and exercise can improve and also prevent muscle tightness.
If you are seeking the care of a professional, massage and chiropractic may be a good way to treat your muscles. Depending on the cause, it may help to improve the underlying conditions that led the muscle to contract involuntarily. According to the founder of the Express Chiropractic franchise group, chiropractic can help relieve muscle tension if it is associated with a vertebral subluxation. "Through an adjustment, which is a light to moderate force into the stuck joints at a precise angle, it can restore motion and begin the process of making that area of the spine function normally again" he stated.
Muscle spasms such as extensor spasm that causes a limb to extend, flexor spasms that cause a limb to bend, and adductor spasm that causes a limb to draw towards the body, will usually go away on its own. But in case your muscles keep tightening up recurrently, you may reduce the likelihood by making simple lifestyle changes. However, if you are concerned about long-term or unexplainable muscle spasm you should speak to your doctor.
Dr. Daron Stegall is a practicing Chiropractor in Keller Texas at Express Chiropractic & Wellness. Express delivers effective and affordable chiropractic and massage care.
Dr. Stegall is also the founder and COO of Express Franchising, a company dedicated to helping chiropractors develop low stress, easy to operate practices that provide routine chiropractic care to people in their community.
For more information about Express and to find locations, visit the website at https://ExpressChiropractic.com.
For more information about Express Franchise opportunities, visit https://Franchise.ExpressChiropractic.com.
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