Preventing and Relieving Muscle Tension
Muscle tension is annoying at best and downright debilitating at worst. There are many things that can cause tension in your muscles and figuring out the root cause is step number one to finding a solution. Most of the time it’s something simple like exercising too hard, stress or sitting funny at your desk that will cause your body to lock up. There are more rare instances when it can be a much more complex medical condition that needs to be treated by a professional.
To get you started on a more relaxed path we have a few tips and tricks to help you feel better. However, it is important to remember to go see a doctor if you are still feeling stiff and sore after using these proven home remedies.
Tricks to Relieve Muscle Tension
This is going to sound way too simple but it is the truth: R-E-L-A-X! A large number of our problems truly are a result of us being inclined to overthink everything and thus causing us stress. Take a day to just relax, rest and do things that bring you joy. Sleep in, stay in your pajamas all day and watch movies, take a hot bath, go get a massage and watch all your tension melt away.
Heating pads and ice packs are another simple way you can relieve tense muscles. Heat is great to loosen up tightness and cold is better for swelling and inflammation. Just be sure to only apply the heat or cold for 20 minutes with a 20 minute break in between applications. If you aren’t sure which you should be using don’t hesitate to call your doctor for guidance.
If you aren’t stretching, you should be. This is the ultimate preventative measure as well as a reliever. The more flexible your muscles are to begin with the less likely they will be to tighten up on you in the first place. The good news is there is no bad time to start and this is something that can always be improved over time. Make sure you stretching routine focuses on these key areas:
Take breaks at work and walk around while also being mindful of how you are sitting while at your desk. Regular movement is important to keeping your body loose and relaxed so don’t hesitate getting the wiggles out every so often.
Finally, watch your diet. Make sure you are getting enough water in your system (eight 8-oz glasses of water per day or more if you regularly exercise). Need more convincing that water is essential to keeping your muscles from tightening up? Multiple studies have shown dehydration, specifically during exercise greatly increases your odds of muscle damage and soreness. It is also important to make sure your calcium and magnesium intakes are where they should be as well. Some good foods to make regulars stays in your diet include:
soy, rice, almond milk
fortified orange juice
dark leafy greens