There are two main causes of muscle tension. And we all have it.
If we didn’t have any muscle tension in our bodies at all, we wouldn’t be able to stand up, walk, pick things up, or do any of the things that happen in normal daily lives.
For instance, if you want to pick something up – a cup for example – the muscles in your hand tense and contract in order to pull your fingers together to grip the cup handle. And then the muscles in your arm tense and contract in order to lift the cup to your mouth. And so, muscle tension – in the above sense – is good and necessary.
This is Not Good
What a lot of people refer to, though, when they talk about muscle tension, is the continuous tension they experience in their muscles and tissues… and because it is there all the time, it prevents them from relaxing.
And, apparently, we often try to avoid thinking about it
Some of us try to pretend we don’t have tension by busying ourselves and either ignoring it, or by using alcohol or drugs to “take the edge off the day”. But, it must be said, these people do still suffer from muscular tension, they are just not acknowledging it!
Muscles are Made To Contract
Muscles need to be be able to contract and become tense in order to move bones and support our joints and skeletal frame. If our muscles didn’t do this, we would just lie about in a heap of uncontrollable bones.
But it is vitally important that our muscles turn off their tense states and relax as well…
This video shows how
When we have continual muscle tension, the muscle fibres “learn” to stay tight and contracted. This can be a factor in our getting “knots” or trigger points in the muscles, suffering cramps and spasms, experiencing a lessening circulation of blood and our tendency to feel “tight” and stressed.
This continuous tension is undesirable and can lead to health risks. Most people suffer from it in one form or another, thinking it is an unavoidable part of getting older. But, actually, continuous tension is something we can counteract, once we know how.
The Two Main Causes of Muscle Tension
The Two Causes of muscle tension are:
- Physical and
See Below For More Information
Physical tension can be caused by
- Suffering a muscle strain, injury or trauma,
- Overworking a muscle,
- Repetitive motion, and
- The use of poor body mechanics can all cause muscle tension.
Sitting in one position for a long time, for instance working at a desk in a poor seated position with the head leaning forward, causes the shoulders to become rounded and the back gets curved. This can cause the neck, shoulder and back muscles to become tense.
Emotional causes of tension include
- Anxiety and worry,
- Anger and hatred,
- Feeling inadequate or dis-empowered,
- Feeling sad or “unheard”.
- Not expressing how we feel – something we learn from our parents or significant other – can also create unhealthy tensions in our bodies.
Unfortunately, physical tension leads to emotional tension. And emotional tension leads to physical tension and so, unless we deal with the problem it can, and often does, just tend to get worse over time.
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But what to do about it?
There are a number of effective techniques for reducing and even removing unwanted muscle tension. The simple exercises described in pain relief for life have been found not only to get rid of pain, but they also relieve the muscle tension which leads to the pain.
In a later post I will discuss other options for dealing with muscle tension. But I have yet to find a more effective plan than the methods at pain relief for life.
Meanwhile, as you are reading this, just focus in on your own body and the two main causes of muscle tension and see what you can sense in your own shoulders, neck, back or legs…
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