Muscle body tension refers to the condition in which muscles of the body remain semi-contracted for an extended period. Muscle tension is typically caused by the physiological effects of stress and can lead to episodes of back pain. When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress—the body’s way of guarding against injury and pain. With sudden onset stress, the muscles tense up all at once and then release their tension when the stress passes.
Stress reduction refers to various strategies that counteract this response and produce a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
If you’ve ever suffered from a tension headache, neck discomfort, or lower back pain, you know how much of effect stress can have on the body. When we become stressed, our adrenaline rises, making us more likely to be on guard against what the body perceives as danger. When this stress happens, our muscles tense up as a reflex reaction. While the body does this as a way of protecting us against injury and pain, chronic tension in reaction to stress has the opposite effect.
Chronic stress causes the body to be in a frequent state of alertness, which in turn causes our muscles to be tense and taut for extended periods of time. This can trigger other reactions in the body and may even lead to disorders or diseases. These reactions may include tension headaches and migraines, a tight and tender jaw, cramps in the stomach and back, and digestive issues, among others. If not treated, the muscle tension leading to aches causes us more stress and perpetuates the cycle. It can also lead to other issues such as irritability, fatigue, and depression.
While millions of people suffer from chronic pain due to daily stresses, in some cases, the tension in our muscles may be the result of an injury. It’s important that this injury is treated properly in order to keep it from turning into a chronic condition. Some may react by avoiding physical activity for fear of pain or reinjury, however, misuse of the body only increases muscle tension and atrophy. The best way to recover from an injury is to maintain a moderate level of activity that’s been recommended by a physician. Relaxation techniques, massage, and acupuncture may also be particularly helpful during this time.
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia, or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the cause.
What is the meaning of tension?
Manage Stress to Reduce Muscle Tension. If you’ve ever suffered from a tension headache, neck discomfort, or lower back pain, you know how much of effect stress can have on the body. When we become stressed, our adrenaline rises, making us more likely to be on guard against what the body perceives as danger.
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense.
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom.
- Having an increased heart rate.
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired.
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry.
Persistent fear and worry are fairly well-known anxiety symptoms, but you may be less familiar with anxiety’s physical symptoms. You may be unaware what you’re experiencing is anxiety. Untreated anxiety can have long-term effects on all areas of health.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and give yourself a break if you feel stressed out.
- Talk to others. …
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. …
- Take a break. …
- Recognize when you need more help.
- Balance responsibilities (like schoolwork) with activities you enjoy (like relaxing or spending time with friends). It’s all about balance: all work and no play is bad. …
- Manage responsibilities. …
- Eat healthy foods. …
- Get proper sleep. …
- Make time to exercise every day.
Muscle stiffness is when your muscles feel tight and you find it more difficult to move than you usually do, especially after rest. You may also have muscle pains, cramping, and discomfort.
- limited movement.
- Depression or anxiety.
- Anger, irritability, or restlessness.
- Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or unfocused.
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Racing thoughts or constant worry.
- Problems with your memory or concentration.
- Making bad decisions.
- Headaches and migraines. When you are stressed, your muscles tense up. …
- Depression and anxiety. …
- Heart problems. …
- Upset stomach. …
- Obesity. …
- Problems getting pregnant. …
- Menstrual cycle problems. …
- Decreased sex drive.
- Applying a warm compress or heating pad to the affected muscle to help relax rigid muscles.
- Gently stretching your stiff muscle to help relax it.
- Avoiding strenuous activity that may trigger the muscle to become rigid again.
- Encouraging the muscles to relax using massage, yoga, or tai chi.
What is good for muscle tension?
While muscle spasms can be painful, relief is available with these seven natural muscle relaxers.
Chamomile. Share on Pinterest. …
Cherry juice. Share on Pinterest. …
Blueberry smoothies. Share on Pinterest. …
Cayenne pepper. Share on Pinterest. …
Vitamin D. Share on Pinterest. …
Magnesium. Share on Pinterest. …
Can anxiety make your body hurt?
Muscle tension, body soreness, headaches. For people with anxiety disorders, pain like this may be all too familiar. Pain can be a common symptom — and sometimes a good indicator — of an anxiety disorder, particularly generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
What are the warning signs of stress?
What are the warning signs and symptoms of emotional stress?
Heaviness in your chest, increased heart rate, or chest pain.
Shoulder, neck, or back pain; general body aches and pains.
Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.
Shortness of breath.
Feeling tired, anxious, depressed.
What are the causes of stress?
being under lots of pressure.
facing big changes.
worrying about something.
not having much or any control over the outcome of a situation.
having responsibilities that you’re finding overwhelming.
not having enough work, activities, or change in your life.
times of uncertainty.
What are some physical signs of stress?
Physical symptoms of stress include:
Aches and pains.
Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing.
Exhaustion or trouble sleeping.
Headaches, dizziness, or shaking.
High blood pressure.
Muscle tension or jaw clenching.
Stomach or digestive problems.
What organs are affected by stress?
Stress affects all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems. Our bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses, but when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body.
What does severe stress feel like?
Emotional symptoms of stress include: Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody. Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control. Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind.
What happens to your body when you are under stress?
When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which rouse the body for emergency action. Your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and your senses become sharper.
What causes tight muscles all over the body?
Causes of common stiffness include exercise soreness, “muscle knots,” overuse injuries, arthritis and “inflammaging,” inflammation (from chronic infection, autoimmune disease), mild widespread pain (fibromyalgia), anxiety disorder, and medication side effects.
Does anxiety cause muscle tightness?
Experiencing frequent feelings of fear, worry, and anxiety can impact the body by contributing to muscle pain and tightness. Muscle tension is a common problem for people with panic disorder.
What is the strongest natural muscle relaxer?
These include the following foods, supplements, and techniques:
Cherries and tart cherry juice. Cherries and tart cherry juice may act as natural muscle relaxants. …
Pomegranate juice. …
What is the safest muscle relaxer?
Cyclobenzaprine is rated B by the FDA for safety during pregnancy, making it the safest muscle relaxant to use while pregnant. Dantrolene (Dantrium). Dantrolene helps control chronic spasticity related to spinal injuries. It is also used for conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.
How do I relax my muscles?
How do you do progressive muscle relaxation?
Breathe in, and tense the first muscle group (hard but not to the point of pain or cramping) for 4 to 10 seconds.
Breathe out, and suddenly and completely relax the muscle group (do not relax it gradually).
Relax for 10 to 20 seconds before you work on the next muscle group.
- Salmon. Salmon may be beneficial for reducing anxiety. …
- Chamomile. Chamomile is an herb that may help reduce anxiety. …
- Turmeric. …
- Dark Chocolate. …
- Yogurt. …
- Green Tea.
Common effects of stress
Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
|On your body||On your mood||On your behavior|
|Headache||Anxiety||Overeating or undereating|
|Muscle tension or pain||Restlessness||Angry outbursts|
|Chest pain||Lack of motivation or focus||Drug or alcohol misuse|
|Fatigue||Feeling overwhelmed||Tobacco use|
|Change in sex drive||Irritability or anger||Social withdrawal|
|Stomach upset||Sadness or depression||Exercising less often|
Act to manage stress
If you have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have many health benefits. Explore stress management strategies, such as:
- Getting regular physical activity
- Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage
- Keeping a sense of humor
- Spending time with family and friends
- Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music
Aim to find active ways to manage your stress. Inactive ways to manage stress — such as watching television, surfing the internet or playing video games — may seem relaxing, but they may increase your stress over the long term.
And be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid tobacco use, excess caffeine and alcohol, and the use of illegal substances.
When to seek help
If you’re not sure if stress is the cause or if you’ve taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor. Your healthcare provider may want to check for other potential causes. Or consider seeing a professional counselor or therapist, who can help you identify sources of your stress and learn new coping tools.
Also, get emergency help immediately if you have chest pain, especially if you also have shortness of breath, jaw or back pain, pain radiating into your shoulder and arm, sweating, dizziness, or nausea. These may be warning signs of a heart attack and not simply stress symptoms.
To help manage your stress, reduce muscle tension, and eliminate chronic pain, follow these five tips:
Get enough sleep: Between seven and eight hours a night is ideal for making us less vulnerable to the stress that can cause headaches and digestive issues.
Eat a healthy diet: Eat plenty of fresh produce, fiber, and lean protein, and drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Avoid too much caffeine, which can interfere with sleep.
Exercise: At least 30 minutes of exercise a day triggers the production of endorphins that help us relax and combat stress.
Meditate: 20 minutes of daily meditation has been shown to reduce the severity of muscle tension by 28 percent and feelings of anxiety by 44 percent. Other relaxation techniques such as yoga and deep breathing may also be helpful.
Get a massage: Regular massage will not only release tension in the muscles but improve a sense of calm and well-being that can counteract stress long after the massage is over.
If you’re feeling the pain of stress, schedule an appointment with Riktr Pro Massage, who will design a custom plan for your specific needs.
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*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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