Do your muscles constantly feel stiff and tight? Do you feel restricted because your muscles have a limited range of motion? Tight muscles can occur to anybody, be it athletes or ordinary people. The tightness of muscles post a workout is a rather common occurrence. Even sedentary individuals experience muscle tightness from time to time due to limited physical activity and movement of their muscles.
How to manage and prevent tight muscles?
Tight muscles can be caused due to excessive physical activity, during and after exercise and also due to prolonged physical inactivity. Tight muscles are painful and frustrating and need to be taken care of as soon as possible. They also restrict movement and cause discomfort when moved. Here are some ways to manage and prevent muscle tightness.
When muscles remain inactive for long periods of time, they become restricted and muscle tightness occurs. This generally happens in sedentary people who sit in one place for long hours and do not get sufficient physical activity. They remain seated in one spot and their body does not get any room for physical movement. Muscle tightness in neck and shoulders occurs as a result of this and damages the posture of the individual. Slouching and poor posture is a classic example of this condition. Remaining stationary for a long time without paying attention to the proper posture and the regular exertion of muscles manifests itself in the form of muscle tightness in neck and shoulders.
The solution for this is to maintain a good posture even while being seated. You should regularly leave your desk to take small walks to stretch your muscles. This ensures that your muscles do not get stiff and tight due to inactivity.
Before and after a workout
Muscle tightness is also observed before or after working out and is commonly seen as muscle cramps and muscle soreness. Muscular cramps are an effect of prolonged muscle tightness which can be highly painful. During contractions, muscles stretch and tighten regularly. But when a muscular cramp occurs, a tightened muscle remains in that position failing to relax and this causes extreme pain. This can occur due to improper exercising, over exerting a particular body area and also due to improper sodium levels in the body.
Muscle soreness is caused due to intense exercise and can last for up to 72 hours. Overworking a particular muscle while lifting or lowering weights causes this painful condition.
The remedy for these types of muscle tightness is to perform physical exercises under the supervision of a trained physical therapist and to gradually increase the intensity of the workout. Staying well fed and hydrated also ensures that muscles receive the adequate electrolytes required to contract and relax efficiently.
Muscle tightness can happen to anyone and is easily preventable if managed properly. Consult an expert physical therapist to guide you in your physical activities to ensure muscle tightness does not hamper your day-to-day activities.