Muscle tightness, or myogelosis, is a hardening of a variety of muscles. This leads to painful hardening, which can be felt as knots or bulges. A doctor should only be consulted if the pain is severe and occurs repeatedly. Heat treatments such as a sauna or warm baths are recommended as home remedies for muscle hardening. Light massages are also helpful as a treatment.
What is muscle tightness?
Muscle hardening or myogelosis is severe and usually painful muscle spasms. It occurs in most cases with excessive sporting activities. Such an overload leads to permanent tension in the muscles. However, muscle hardening can also be caused by pinched nerves or arthrosis. See eshaoxing for Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Definition and Meaning.
Athletes in particular know these or similar situations with certainty: After a strenuous long-distance run or marathon shortly before the finish line, you suddenly feel a sharp stabbing pain in your thigh, lower leg or calf.
However, muscle tightening can also occur in the upper arms in the back or shoulder area. In many cases, the pain subsides after a short recovery period. But muscle hardening can also last for a long time and become a great torment.
But how does such muscle hardening occur ? A muscle hardening is caused by a long-lasting, strong tension of the muscle fibers. This tension causes the muscle fibers to compress the fine capillaries in the muscles.
As a result, these are only supplied with blood to a limited extent and an inflammation develops, which causes the muscles to tense severely. This in turn is the cause of this cramping pain in the affected parts of the body. This is called muscle hardening.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Muscle hardening can be felt on the one hand. Affected people sometimes feel rock-hard muscle parts. In addition to these clearly palpable signs, there are numerous symptoms of muscle hardening. Pain in the area of the hardened muscle can take different forms.
The pain can be felt as dull as well as biting. Hardened muscles in the jaw area, for example, cause a dull feeling of pressure in some of those affected. Others report repeated shooting, radiating pain.
Tight muscles in the neck area can cause back pain as well as headaches. Depending on where the muscles are hardened, the symptoms can also be very diffuse and therefore cannot always be clearly assigned to the actually hardened muscle. Problems with the chest muscles can also manifest themselves, for example, in unclear abdominal complaints and also cause digestive problems.
Precisely because the symptoms of muscle tension can be very different, careful diagnosis is of great importance. On the one hand, complaints that come from hardened muscles rarely get better on their own without targeted treatment. The strained musculature tends to harden more and more and thus causes more and more complaints. On the other hand, if the symptoms persist, it must be ruled out promptly that the symptoms are caused by another organic disease.
Course of the disease
If a muscle hardening lasts for several days despite the home remedies and preventive measures mentioned below, you should definitely see a doctor, because it could also be a nervous disease.
After a medical examination, the loosening and relaxation of the muscles can be promoted with anti-inflammatory drugs or magnesium supplements. If the doctor cannot find any other medical cause, muscle hardening is usually due to excessive or one-sided training.
In this case, the training program should be thoroughly analyzed in order to determine the reason for the muscle overload. The training must then be changed so that the muscles are evenly loaded and renewed muscle hardening is avoided.
Due to the hardening of the muscles, those affected primarily suffer from very severe and, above all, stabbing pain. This pain can significantly reduce and restrict the quality of life of those affected. There are also limitations in everyday life, whereby the performance of certain work or sports is no longer easily possible due to the hardening of the muscles.
The exercise of the profession can also be restricted by the hardening of the muscles. Furthermore, rest pain at night can lead to significant sleep disturbances and thus to depression or general irritability in the patient. Movement restrictions also occur. The exact limitations and complications of muscle tightening also depend heavily on the muscle involved.
Especially with another heavy load, the muscle hardening can lead to significant pain and further consequential damage. For this reason, a doctor should always be consulted if the pain persists. Muscle hardening is usually treated with the help of massage or heat treatments.
There are no further complications or symptoms and in most cases the disease progresses positively. The life expectancy of the patient is usually not limited or reduced by the muscle hardening.
When should you go to the doctor?
Hardened muscles do not always require medical attention. In a large number of cases, those affected can achieve relief from the symptoms without the support of a doctor. Adequate heat supply and the consumption of enough alcohol-free liquids lead to an improvement in the discomfort. The affected person should take it easy on his or her body and not expose it to any renewed heavy stress.
Poor posture and a crooked posture should also be avoided. The areas in which there is a tightening of the muscles can be loosened up with the fingers or other tools using circular movements. In addition, it is recommended to practice sports that contribute to a better supply of the muscle fibers and a balance through the general movement sequences. Swimming, for example, can provide relief and freedom from symptoms.
If the muscle hardening persists or continues to increase despite all efforts, a doctor should be consulted. If the affected person does not manage to achieve a significant improvement in their health within a few days or if further symptoms appear, they need help. Headaches, sleep disturbances and a permanent misalignment of the pelvis or shoulders can occur, which must be treated. In particular, damage to the skeletal system can lead to the manifestation of impairments that have lifelong consequences.
Treatment & Therapy
The most suitable method to counteract muscle hardening that has already developed is heat treatment and a sauna. Warm or hot baths, warm compresses or placing a hot-water bottle on the cramped areas are highly recommended. Heat promotes blood circulation and also relieves severe tension.
A very helpful measure against muscle hardening is also a massage of the hardened muscles. During an existing muscle hardening, the usual training workload should definitely be reduced. Sporting activities despite a hardened muscle can lead to an aggravation and, in the worst case, further damage the muscle.
Outlook & Forecast
Muscle tightening offers a good prognosis. The condition can be treated with massage, rest and targeted physiotherapy. Muscle tightness often resolves on its own. Until then, rest and avoiding strenuous activities are important to avoid jeopardizing recovery. The quality of life is restricted by the hardening of the muscles, but the patients can continue to go about their usual everyday activities without having to expect major restrictions. Even sporting activities do not have to be stopped completely, provided that sufficient rest periods are taken.
The prognosis is worse for recurring muscle hardening. Occasionally there is a serious muscle disease that needs to be treated first. Elimination of the causes of muscle hardening is decisive for the prognosis. Medications and lifestyle changes help resolve muscle tightness quickly. Acute pain is alleviated by means of pain therapy, trigger point therapy or other typical treatment methods. The aim of the therapy is to stimulate blood circulation and dissolve the hardening of the muscles. The general practitioner or sports physician makes the exact prognosis with regard to the severity of the muscle hardening. The triggers must also be included in the prognosis.
The benefit of a massage lies in: promoting blood circulation, relaxing the muscles, relieving pain and mental relaxation.
But it does not have to be a pronounced muscle hardening. There are some helpful tips to prevent muscle tightening. Even if it’s still cold outside, athletes should always drink enough fluids. Sometimes muscle hardening is also caused by a lack of magnesium in the body. It is therefore recommended to take one magnesium tablet dissolved in water every day.
Proper warm-up training before any sporting activity also counteracts muscle hardening because it stimulates muscle activity. Especially when a marathon or another major sports tournament is coming up, you should warm up sufficiently and stretch your muscles.
Wearing the right clothing also prevents muscle hardening. If the body sweats a lot during heavy exertion, the clothing should not be too airy, because the body cools down very quickly when you sweat. This damages the muscles. Therefore, experts recommend warmer clothing, as the blood circulation is promoted by the heat.
In the case of muscle hardening, in most cases the affected person has only a few and only very limited measures of direct follow-up care available, whereby a quick and, above all, a very early diagnosis of this disease is primarily necessary. Therefore, ideally, the sufferer should see a doctor at the first signs and symptoms of the condition to prevent the onset of further complications and discomfort.
In most cases, patients are dependent on bed rest, whereby the affected muscles should be rested. Strenuous or physical activities are not recommended in order not to unnecessarily strain the body. In many cases, those affected are therefore dependent on the help and support of their own families. Loving conversations can have a positive effect on the psychological state of the person concerned.
Furthermore, measures of physiotherapy and physiotherapy are often necessary. Many of the exercises can also be repeated at home, which significantly increases the mobility of those affected. Hardening of the muscles does not reduce the life expectancy of the person affected and can usually be treated relatively well.
You can do that yourself
In the case of muscle hardening, it is first important to reduce or completely stop sporting activities. Short stretching exercises are recommended to quickly relax the affected muscle. However, this should never be taken to the pain threshold, as serious tissue damage can occur here. Afterwards relaxation is appropriate. Any type of stress can worsen the condition or slow healing.
A 15-minute bath in warm water quickly relaxes the muscles. Warming compresses from the pharmacy also loosen up the muscles thoroughly. Other heat treatments are sauna sessions and red light radiation. Depending on the weather, exposure to the sun can also relieve pain. Another way to relieve tension is to massage the affected muscles locally. In addition, anti-inflammatory ointments can be gently massaged in to relieve pain. This is particularly recommended in the evening, just before going to bed.
It is important to drink enough liquid during the entire self-treatment in order to let the tension subside. For long-term success against muscle hardening, on the other hand, a balanced magnesium balance in the body is the best treatment and preventive measure. Magnesium preparations and foods with a particularly high magnesium content are ideal for this.