The Ultimate Guide to Relieving Muscle Tension
By John Harris Fitness
We've all experienced it: waking up with that unpleasant neck pain, feeling it worsen throughout the workday, and finding no relief even when lying on the couch in the evening – muscle tension. These days, it seems almost no one is spared from it. But why does it happen, and more importantly, what can you do about it?
Understanding the Origins of Muscle Tension
Muscle tension in the back often results from poor postures, stress, and the hectic pace of daily life. Factors such as one-sided strain, incorrect lifting and carrying techniques, uncomfortable beds, or careless body posture can lead to such tension. These factors often act in conjunction, giving rise to persistent muscle tension.
For instance, repeated heavy lifting commonly triggers discomfort in the lumbar spine, while improper posture in front of a computer can cause issues in the thoracic and cervical spine. Prolonged incorrect positions overtax the muscles, setting off a chain reaction that leads to tension. Due to this chronic tension, muscles receive insufficient oxygen, causing them to harden. This initial discomfort often prompts relieving postures, inadvertently promoting and triggering more tension due to uneven loading. As time passes, tension spreads to encompass more muscle groups. Stress-induced anxiety responses further accelerate this process, as they naturally heighten muscle tension.
Breaking the Cycle
Top Tips for Combating Stubborn Muscle Tension in Everyday Life:
Heat Keeping tense muscle groups warm is essential. Avoid drafts as well. This not only prevents but also alleviates tension. A warm bath with aromatic oils, a pharmacy-bought heat patch, or a microwave-heated cherry pit cushion can work wonders.
Stretch It Out!
Stretching also helps release muscle tension. However, you must heed your body's signals, as excessive stretching beyond the pain threshold has the opposite effect and exacerbates tension. When practiced moderately and purposefully, stretching serves as a valuable home remedy.
Sleep Away the Tension
As mentioned, an uncomfortable bed can contribute to tension, particularly the pillow. Therefore, ergonomically contoured neck pillows can provide relief during sleep. These pillows conform to the body's shape, offering support to the muscles.
John Harris's Approach to Alleviating Muscle Tension
Massage and Relaxation
Unwind with a soothing massage, a swim in the on-site pool, or a visit to the Finnish sauna. Escape from daily worries and swiftly relax your tensed muscles.
To effectively combat tension long-term, engaging in physical activity is crucial. Strengthening muscles leads to improved posture, as a robust musculature provides better support for the body. Prioritize training your back, an area often neglected in conventional workouts. Our Back Health class is designed specifically for this purpose. In this 60-minute session, the focus lies on deep back, abdominal, and gluteal muscles. Equally effective is our fascia training, well-suited for this objective. For more class options, explore our workout schedule.
Easing muscle tension requires a deliberate approach and doesn't resolve on its own. By following our everyday tips and making regular visits to one of our fitness studios, you'll soon notice positive changes and achieve lasting relief from tense muscles.