Keep the injured area raised above chest level.
Some of the OTC medications can help reduce swelling and pain and provide the best sprains and strains treatments. However, it is important to visit a physiotherapist for some stretching exercises to keep the pain in control and not letting it grow.
Apart from the main sprain areas, doctors will further check the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones of the injured portion to give proper treatment. So, keep the numbers of physiotherapists handy.
Muscle Stiffness Symptoms and Causes
When muscles feel stiff after resting, they start to feel tight and find it harder to move than usual. It is a common condition that affects people of all ages and is often referred to as muscle tension or tightness. It is characterised by muscle tightness or tension, which can make moving uncomfortable or difficult.
Muscle aches, soreness, and cramping could come from this. This muscle stiffness is distinct from muscle rigidity and spasticity. The muscle will remain stiff even when you are not moving if you have these two symptoms.
Regular exercise and stretching will help you feel less stiff, but it can also signal more serious problems, especially if you also experience other symptoms.
The most common symptom of muscle stiffness is the unending pain you are going through. Even tight leg muscles are one sign that you must visit a doctor. Some of the other symptoms to look for are:
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle spasms
- Joint Pain
- Muscle tension
- Aching and Stiffness
- Pain worsens with movements
- Sleep disturbances
- Burning sensation in muscles
Numerous reasons, such as muscle strain or injury, inflammation, arthritis, and specific medical diseases, can contribute to muscle stiffness. It’s crucial to pay attention to any other symptoms you might be having if you have muscle stiffness and to speak with a healthcare professional for an appropriate diagnosis and course of action.
Muscle Stiffness Causes:
The common causes of muscle stiffness are exercises, lifting weights, and physical work. Stiffness could be caused when getting out of bed or spending a lot of time sitting in a chair.
Strains and sprains are some common reasons. These sprains can cause redness, pain, swelling, and limited movement. Some of the other conditions causing stiff muscles are:
- An insect sting or bite
- Injury from extreme cold or heat
- Medication or anesthesia is used for surgery.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a condition that causes persistent muscle discomfort and affects both muscles and fascia. It is characterised by muscle discomfort, stiffness, and soreness, frequently in particular body parts known as “trigger points.” These trigger points can be activated by actions like lifting, carrying, or even talking, which can send pain radiating to other parts of the body. It can be brought on by a number of things, such as stress, injury, misuse of the muscles, and bad posture. It is frequently treated using a mix of methods, including physical therapy, stretching, and massage therapy.
A healthcare professional should be consulted for a precise diagnosis and suitable treatment strategy. Based on the severity and unique features of your condition, they can suggest the best treatment alternatives.
When to See Physiotherapist:
Call your doctor if you are unsure of the cause of your muscle spasm. Make sure to seek that medical attention if you experience it with other symptoms like
- Fever with neck stiffness
- Extreme weakness
- Feel tight
- Pain, redness, and swelling in areas where you are experiencing muscle stiffness
- Muscle pain starts after taking the medicines.
These are a sign that there might be one underlying condition you need to deal with.
Certain conditions can increase the risk of muscle stiffness and pain. If left untreated, tightness can lead to a number of negative effects on the body. Some potential risks associated with muscle stiffness include:
- Arthritis causes some chronic joint inflammation. Most people with arthritis will experience stiffness and joint pains.
- Fibromyalgia is one chronic illness causing all musculoskeletal pain and fatigue.
- Tunnel syndrome: These conditions will cause pinched nerves or severe nerve compression, which can be stated as tunnel syndrome.
- Decreased range of motion: Tight muscles can limit the range of motion in joints, making it difficult to perform everyday activities such as reaching, lifting, or bending.
It is important to address tightness and prevent it to avoid these potential risks. Stretching, regular exercise, and good posture can help prevent muscle tightness and maintain flexibility and mobility. If you are experiencing muscle tightness, you must speak with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How to Prevent:
With simple changes and proper muscle stiffness treatment, you can significantly prevent muscle stiffness and need not visit a physiotherapist for help.
- Exercise regularly
- Stretch up your muscles
- Warm up and down before and after exercising
- Wearing proper footwear while exercising
- Practicing good posture
- Wearing warm cloth in cold weather
- Ensuring that the work and home furniture give you support and comfort
- Avoid some extended periods of inactivity
Controlling your diet plans:
A well-balanced diet can reduce muscle stiffness and discomfort by providing the body with the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy muscle tissue. Staying hydrated and eating a nutritious and varied diet with enough protein are always essential for a healthy lifestyle. It can further help in reducing the chances of muscle stiffness. Certain nutrients, such as vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, are important for maintaining healthy muscles. Ensuring that these nutrients are part of your diet can help reduce muscle stiffness and discomfort.
Moreover, try to stay hydrated to keep muscle stiffness at bay, as dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and muscle spasms. A person must drink water daily, and you can try different herbal teas or fruit slices to sparkling water for refreshing drinks.
Avoid processed and sugary foods. These foods can increase inflammation in the body, contributing to stiffness and discomfort.
It’s important to note that diet is one-factor affecting muscle health and stiffness. Other factors, such as exercise, sleep, and stress management, can also play a role in maintaining healthy muscles.
Treatments for Muscle Stiffness:
Several treatments can effectively reduce stiffness and discomfort caused by tight muscles and muscle tension. Here are a few options:
- Stretching: Stretching can help lengthen tight muscles and improve flexibility, reducing stiffness and discomfort. It’s important to stretch gently and hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds to allow the muscles to relax and lengthen.
- Massage can help relax tight muscles and improve circulation, reducing muscle cramps and soreness. Massage therapy may be particularly helpful for relieving muscle tension and improving muscle function.
- Heat or cold therapy: Applying heat or cold therapy to the affected area can help to reduce muscle stiffness and discomfort. Heat can relax tight muscles, while cold can help to reduce inflammation.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help strengthen and stretch muscles, reducing stiffness and discomfort. It’s important to choose exercises that are appropriate for your fitness level and to warm up before exercising to help prevent muscle strains.
- Over-the-counter pain medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce inflammation and pain. These medications may be particularly helpful for relieving muscle cramps and spasms.
6. Physical therapy: A physical therapist can work with you to develop a treatment plan that may include exercises, stretches, and other techniques to reduce muscle stiffness and discomfort caused by tight muscles and muscle tension.