How to Identify Muscular Contracture
- Symptoms of muscle contracture
- How to treat a muscle contracture at home
- What to do to avoid muscle contractures
Muscle contracture occurs when the muscle contracts incorrectly and does not return to its normal state of relaxation. Contractures can happen in different parts of the body, such as the neck, cervical or thigh for example, and can occur after practicing a very strong exercise, a bad night's sleep or due to excessive tension in the body caused by excessive stress and worries.
Contracture causes pain, discomfort and often limits movement, which in most cases can be easily felt when the hand is placed on the muscle and a more painful and stiff part is noted. This type of muscle injury is very common in those who spend a lot of time working in offices in the same position for a long time and, generally, do not practice any physical activity on a regular basis.
Symptoms of muscle contracture
Some of the symptoms that indicate the presence of a muscle contracture are:
- Pain and discomfort especially if it is in the neck, cervical, thigh, back, calf and gluteus, for example;
- Presence of a more painful and stiff part of the muscle, similar to a ball or lump;
- Difficulty in stretching the affected muscle due to pain;
- Difficulty moving the joint or limb near the sore muscle.
How to treat a muscle contracture at home
The treatment of muscle contracture can be done at home and the step-by-step to treat a contracture includes:
- Take a hot water bath, allowing the hot water to fall directly into the contracture region if possible.
- Make a treatment with a hot water bag or a heated towel in the painful area, for 15 to 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
- Massage the contracture region with strong, circular movements using a moisturizing cream or relaxing essential oil, especially if you feel a pellet or stone.
- Do some stretches, which make it possible to stretch and exercise the affected muscle, because although these stretches may initially cause some pain, they will help to relieve tension in the region of the contracture, helping to relax the muscle. See some stretches you can do if your contracture is in the neck by clicking here.
In addition, in periods of greater tiredness, when there is a lot of muscle tension and contractures are recurrent, you can also resort to the use of medicines to relax muscles such as Miosan or Dorflex for example. These remedies, besides helping to relax, also help to relieve pain and sleep better, as their relaxing effect on the muscles favors sleep and rest of the body. See other examples of relaxers in Remedies with Muscle Relaxing effect.
However, if with this treatment the contracture does not pass and the pain and symptoms persist for more than 7 days, you should see a doctor or physiotherapist, as in this case you may have a more severe contracture that requires medical monitoring and physical therapy.
What to do to avoid muscle contractures
To avoid muscle contractures, there are some tips that will make all the difference, such as:
- Sleep with a low pillow or no pillow if you sleep on your back or on your side;
- Avoid stress and worries, trying to relax whenever possible;
- Correct posture and walk or always sit with your back and change right; See how you can correct bad posture in How to avoid 7 habits that impair posture;
- Avoid sudden movements or exaggerated physical efforts.
- Do not cross your legs while sitting for long periods of time.
- If you work in a sitting office, stop and stretch at least twice during working hours, preferably 1 in the morning and once in the afternoon. See what stretching exercises you can do at work by clicking here;
In addition, physical inactivity also contributes to the appearance of muscle contractures, so it is recommended that you practice some physical activity such as swimming or Pilates for example, which strengthen your muscles and relieve stress and accumulated tension. Muscle contractures, in general, are common in people who spend a lot of time working in offices, always in the same position and for long periods of time.