Learn About The Causes Of Muscle Tightness And How To Treat It.
We’ve all experienced the dreaded pain of post-workout muscle soreness. We go smash a session at the local gym, but in the morning we wake up with a painful stiffness in our arms or legs.
The next few things that run through our head after waking up include: why do my muscles hurt? What are the causes of muscle tightness? How do I treat it and make the pain go away?
Well below we discuss all of these things, including 4 ways to address the feeling of muscles tightness.
First off, what is muscle stiffness?
Typically, normal muscle stiffness will occur after exercise or a tough workout. And the stiffness can occur after a period of inactivity, such as when you wake up, or getting off a chair if you’ve been sitting for a long time.
Another common reason for muscle stiffness would be sprains and strains, which may cause the following symptoms:
- Limited movement
What are the other causes of muscle tightness along with their symptoms?
Other than exercise related stiffness, these are some surprising causes that you may not have guessed:
Tetanus: is a bacterial infection, usually from soil or dirt and symptoms include:
- Belly pain or cramping
- Increased blood pressure
- Difficulty swallowing
- Rapid heart rate
Meningitis: is an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord with symptoms that include;
- Stiff neck
- Sudden high fever
- Nausea and vomiting
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please consult a doctor.
Here’s a few ways you can treat muscle soreness:
If you are experiencing the normal muscle pain and stiffness after a workout or exercise, there are a few methods and treatments to aid the pain.
This is one of the most well-known ways of treating muscle soreness; ice works by helping to reduce inflammation in the muscle.
The best time to start using ice on your sore muscles would be the first two days after your tough workout. Apply the ice for 15-30 minutes on the affected area. If you’re having trouble finding time to ice, learn how to multitask. Next time you’re sitting on the couch or watching Netflix, grab the ice and do your body a favour.
Massaging the affected area for up to 20 minutes will help relive muscle soreness after a tough workout. But haven’t you ever wondered why massaging actually helps?
The act of massaging increases blood and lymph circulation, which allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach the affected area. This reduces swelling and provides relief for your muscle tightness.
3. Eating Correctly
Your sore muscles need protein to repair themselves. Nutrient rich foods will aid in the recovery process after your workout. Fish and/or nuts, for example, will help accelerate the repair of damaged tissue.
Drinking more water will also aid in the recovery of muscle soreness, especially if you are training or working out in hot weather. If you’re dehydrated while you work out, this may lead to an increased soreness in the muscles. Ensure you have a regular intake of water before, during and after each physical session.
4. Active Recovery
This is a method where you remain active even when you’re sore. The next day after your intense exercise, engage in activity that is a form of ‘light’ exercise. Such as cardio workouts that are less than 30 min.
This gets rid of the muscle soreness or stiffness by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation to the muscles without overworking your already sore muscles.
While the most common causes of muscle tightness are related to post workout tissue damage, there are some serious causes of muscle pain, which may be linked to infection or sickness.
If your post-workout muscle stiffness leads to injury or you’ve managed to pull a muscle, make sure to get into contact with our professionals at Northern Spinal Sports Injury Clinic, and we’d be more than happy to help you work through a speedy recovery!