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Why are my muscles tight?

We have all experienced that feeling of tight muscles before, but what does it actually mean? The way we perceive muscle tightness is different for everyone – it is a subjective sensation.

Muscles require a steady blood flow via regular contraction and movement. Without this, (for example after being stuck in the same posture or movement pattern for too long) the lack of blood flow causes that feeling of stiffness. How can you relieve tight muscles? >Stretching: Helps relieve pain or tension in muscles that have maintained a position for an extended period of time. May not help those who suffer from “chronic tightness” which can be due to increased sensitivity. >Soft tissue work: includes foam rolling and massage and is intended to help lengthen muscles and break adhesions. Although only short-term solutions, these treatments may help decrease sensitivity and reduce the sensation of tightness. >Exercise and resistance training: Contrary to popular belief, training muscles through full range of motion can actually increase flexibility, perhaps even more than stretching. Exercise also has an analgesic effect and can lower levels of inflammation that cause nervous system sensitivity.

So remember, feeling stiff is merely a feeling and not necessarily a physical condition that needs a structural solution! Sometimes that feeling of tightness is just a warning sign for us to get moving.




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