Treatment for muscle contracture
The treatment of muscle contracture can be done at home with a hot water bath, stretching exercises and a massage made with heated oils. However, when this is not enough and muscle contraction persists, it is important to seek medical help and a physical therapist.
Muscle contracture is one of the most common causes of back, shoulder and neck pain, but it can occur in any other area of the body. In addition, its appearance in the calf and thighs is common due to the accumulation of lactic acid produced during physical exercise.
Steps to treat muscle contracture at home
Some steps that can be used to treat contracture at home are:
- Take a bath with hot water and let the water jet fall directly in the region of the contracture;
- Place a hot water bottle in the painful area;
- Make a small massage on the spot, using a moisturizing cream or heated oil;
- Do some stretches, gently stretching the affected muscle. See some examples in the following video:
If even after following these steps, the muscle contracture still hurts, it is important to consult a doctor or physical therapist. For treatment, the doctor may recommend the use of a muscle relaxant such as Miosan, for example, and may order tests such as x-rays or MRIs, if other more serious situations are suspected. See some of the most used relaxants in Remedies with Relaxing Effect.
Signs of improvement
Signs of improvement in the contracture are pain relief, increased range of motion and decreased tender points in the affected region. The muscle becomes more malleable and less painful.
Signs of worsening
The signs of worsening that may occur are permanence of the contracture, which becomes larger and more painful and the formation of fibrosis in the region of the contracture, which can only be resolved with physiotherapy sessions. Depending on the location of the contracture, pain may radiate to other locations and a tingling sensation when the nerve is affected.
It can worsen when the individual does not follow the treatment correctly and when the cause of the contracture has not been eliminated and that is why it is important to rest during the treatment.
How to avoid muscle contractures
A good way to avoid the appearance of muscle contractures is to warm up before starting training, and stretching after exercise. In addition, it is recommended to keep your muscles strong enough and stretched by regularly practicing physical activity. Maintaining good posture is also very important to avoid muscle compensations and consequent contractures.