Muscle tension is a common symptom of stress and anxiety. There are many effects of stress on the body. Muscle stress can be something that comes and goes, or it can be a debilitating and chronic burden on the body and mind. Muscle tension is one of the many physical symptoms of anxiety and stress. Fortunately, muscle tension is manageable, and there are many techniques for alleviating the stress and discomfort.
Causes of Muscle Tension
Muscle tension can be caused by a number of symptoms. Staying in the same position for a long period of time, whether it be in front of the computer or at work, can trigger tension to build up in the muscles. Not exercising and not stretching can bring an increased burden of stress into the muscles. Physically demanding occupations, poor body posture, stress, anxiety, and repetitive motions can also contribute to causing tension.
Muscle strains can lead to muscle tension, by triggering stress in the muscles of the body. A muscle becomes strained when the tendon or muscle which connects with the bone becomes overextended. This strain triggers the muscles to rip, pull, or tear. Pulling a muscle is a common expression for muscle strains. Muscle strains usually occur during physical activities when the muscle is tightening rapidly or with sudden great force. Placing ice packs on the injured muscle is the best way to help treat the injury. Some possible causes of muscle tension include the following:
- Failing to warm up properly prior to exercise, sport or physical activity
- Lifting heavy objects often causes muscles to tear
- The muscle has had a history of tearing, and has not received sufficient time to heal properly
Symptoms of Muscle Strain
- Pain in the muscle
- Persistent burning sensation
- Bruised or swollen appearance in and around the injured muscle
Exercising to Alleviate Muscle Stress
Exercising is the best way to release the tension in the muscles, and the mind will also feel the positive affects of physical exercise. Relaxation techniques and yoga can also contribute to alleviating tension in the muscles. By keeping the muscles loose, the tension is less likely to build up. Stretching the muscles is also a great way to help sooth and release the tension.
If exercise is not your strong suit, one of the most effective methods of helping muscle tension is receiving a massage. Massage therapy has been a proven technique for alleviating the strains, stress, and tensions of the muscles. Deep tissue massages are able to get deep into the muscle, thereby massaging the source of the tension.
A chiropractor might also be able to help for those persistent muscle pains that might require major adjustments. Preventative medicine is also a very important part of preventing tension. Chiropractors can tell you exactly how to position you body to prevent causing tension to form in the muscles.
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure can also help relieve the pain. These alternative medicine practices are able to free up tension areas and reduce the soreness of the muscles.
Tension headaches are often caused by muscle tension. The muscles which usually cause tension headaches are the neck, scalp, and face muscles. Muscle tension headaches are a very common type of headache, and many sufferers experience recurring tension headaches. One of the most common symptoms of tension headaches is a sensation of tightness or tightening around the head. Neck and shoulder muscles often become tighter, more sore and uncomfortable. Tension headaches can be caused by many things. Often, staying in the same position for an extended duration of time can trigger a tension headache. Reading, using the computer, watching television, or playing video games are some common aggravates for tension headaches. Just as many adults suffer from recurrent migraine headaches, children are also particularly susceptible to tension headaches.