Sometimes the muscles may feel tense and stiff. In some cases, muscle tension and stiffness may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as muscle pain, muscle spasms, or reduced mobility. Contractures and mild muscle stiffness are often mild and treatable. On the other hand, severe, chronic or sudden muscle stiffness and rigidity can be a sign of a serious underlying health problem. This article outlines some common causes of muscle stiffness, along with associated treatments. We also provide information on how to help prevent muscle symptoms, when possible.
1 Sprains and strains
Sprains and strains are soft tissue injuries. A sprain affects a ligament, while a strain affects a muscle or a tendon. Ligaments are connective tissues that attach bones to other bones while tendons are connective tissues that attach muscles to bones. Sprains and strains lie on a continuum, ranging from a minor stretching of the affected area to a full tear. These two types of injuries usually occur suddenly, for example when a person falls. But they can also develop gradually due to overuse.
Symptoms of a sprain or strain are:
– sudden pain or tenderness
– muscle stiffness
– difficulty moving the affected area
In most cases, sprains and strains heal on their own.
One can also try the following home remedies to aid recovery:
– Rest: Rest the affected area to promote healing and help prevent further injury.
– Ice: Apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation.
– Compress: Apply a compression bandage to reduce swelling.
– Elevation: Elevate the affected limb to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Exercise-related muscle stiffness can occur as a result of excessive exercise or a sudden change in a person’s exercise routine.
It is one of the most common causes of exercise-related injuries. Microscopic tears develop in the overused muscles, causing a feeling of soreness and stiffness the next day. Symptoms usually last 3-5 days and go away on their own.
In the meantime, one can try the following home remedies to help relieve the pain:
– application of ice packs
– elevate the affected limb
– taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
2 Sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle can weaken muscles and make them vulnerable to injury. Lack of exercise or prolonged sitting at work or home can lead to muscle tension and stiffness. A sedentary lifestyle may be to blame if the pain worsens after long periods of sitting, if it appears gradually and gets worse over time, or if it decreases after periods of activity. In order to alleviate muscle problems, one should try to take frequent breaks to stretch and commit to exercising more regularly. A long period of sedentary life can increase the risk of exercise-related injuries. It is therefore necessary to gradually increase the intensity and frequency of the exercise.
Dehydration deprives the body of the fluids and electrolytes it needs to function properly. This can cause muscle cramps along with other symptoms, such as:
– difficulty thinking clearly
– mood swings
– high body temperature.
Drinking more water can help prevent and treat dehydration. An electrolyte solution may be particularly beneficial in helping relieve dehydration-induced muscle spasms. Dehydration can also occur as a result of excessive vomiting or diarrhea. A person with these symptoms should see their doctor to diagnose the underlying cause and receive the necessary treatment.
Here are some infections that can cause muscle stiffness.
Flu and norovirus
Influenza (flu) often causes muscle aches and stiffness. For some people, this is the most painful symptom of the virus.
Norovirus is a common cause of what is called the “stomach flu”. In addition to nausea and vomiting, a person with norovirus may experience muscle stiffness.
The above infections usually go away on their own, but rest and drinking plenty of fluids can promote healing. If symptoms worsen, a doctor may recommend additional treatments.
Mononucleosis is an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Mononucleosis is another common cause of muscle stiffness, especially in children and young adults. Other symptoms of mono include:
– intense fatigue (lack of energy)
– flu-like symptoms
– swollen lymph nodes
There is no specific treatment for mononucleosis, and this disease usually goes away on its own. But mononucleosis can lead to serious complications, such as a ruptured spleen. People who think they have this disease should therefore consult a doctor.
Meningitis is the medical term for an infection of the membranes or “meninges” that cover the brain and spinal cord. This condition can develop as a result of a viral or bacterial infection. So, anyone whose condition suddenly worsens from a viral or bacterial infection should contact their doctor.
Symptoms of meningitis can be:
– a stiff neck
– sensitivity to light
Viral meningitis usually goes away on its own. But bacterial meningitis can cause death or permanent disability and requires immediate antibiotic treatment.
5 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder that causes a person to experience severe mental and physical fatigue. Some people also experience muscle stiffness or weakness. Other symptoms may include flu-like symptoms, exercise intolerance, and swollen lymph nodes. There is no cure for CFS, but those affected can manage it by adapting their lifestyle.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that is characterized by muscle pain, usually localized in certain sensitive places. Other possible symptoms include:
– brain fog
A person may have fibromyalgia if they experience unexplained muscle stiffness or tightness that does not improve over time and does not respond to home remedies.
The following treatments may help relieve some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia:
– pain medication
– exercises and stretches
7 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare neurological disease that damages the neurons responsible for movement. Muscle problems can be an early symptom of ALS, and can include:
– muscle stiffness or rigidity
– muscle spasms
– muscle pain
These symptoms worsen over time and eventually affect swallowing and breathing.
8 Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that usually appears later in life. Muscle tension or stiffness can be a warning sign of PD. Other possible symptoms include:
– a chronic and progressive muscle tremor
– a weakness that can eventually lead to loss of mobility
There is no cure for PD, and most sufferers find that their symptoms steadily worsen over time. It is difficult to predict how quickly the disease will progress. Some people with PD experience many years of good health, while others experience faster disease progression.
9 Stiff person syndrome
Stiff person syndrome (SPD) is a rare neurological disorder that causes periods of pain, stiffness, and muscle spasms. Symptoms usually develop steadily over time. Muscle spasms sometimes occur in response to triggers, such as loud noises. Periods of muscle stiffness can last for hours and then disappear. In some cases, the stiffness can become so debilitating that the person requires a wheelchair or other support devices.
Doctors do not know the causes of SPD and there is no cure for this disease. disappear on their own.
Prevention of muscle stiffness
It is not possible to prevent all causes of muscle stiffness. But the following strategies can reduce the risk of muscle stiffness due to infection or injury:
– wash hands frequently and avoid sick people
– start exercising slowly to reduce the risk of injury
– warm up and cool down before exercising
– take frequent breaks to stretch if sitting for long periods of time
– do more physical activity to improve muscle strength and reduce the risk of injury
– discuss with a physiotherapist exercises to manage chronic pain and reduce muscle weakness.
* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]