Muscular tightness and stiffness is a very common occurrence, more so with our current lifestyle situation. A sedentary routine, no exercise, bad posture and stress – all snowball in to tightness of the muscle and extreme discomfort and pain.
At rest, your muscles should be relaxed, and should be firm when flexed.
What Causes Tight Shoulder Muscles?
By and large, the tightness commences due to some kind of trauma to the shoulder muscle, ligament or tendon. An injury, sudden muscular exertion, carrying out a task at an uncomfortable angle, carrying very heavy bags, hunching over the desktop, bad posture, napping on the couch, surgery and stress are some of the important etiological factors triggering muscle tightness.
Neglected or left untreated, starts off a vicious cycle, wherein, the discomfort worsens and pain sets in.
Symptoms: There will be tightness in the neck and shoulders. When you massage your neck and shoulders, you will feel the muscles very firm and taut. Gradually, discomfort and pain set in. Sometimes the pain is dull and mild and occasionally it can become extremely severe and can also produce a headache.
How To Relieve Tightness In Shoulders?
- In an acute case, you will have to opt for a good massage therapy. Massage will quickly assuage all pain and discomfort. It will ease away the tenseness and tightness and help you feel relaxed. Massage stimulates blood circulation and improves your range of movement appreciably. However, do at least 10 sessions of therapy and thereafter book yourself for weekly appointments to prevent the condition from developing again. Ensure that you visit a licensed masseur.
- Integrating massage and aromatherapy yield better benefits. Confer with a therapist as to what oils would be suitable for you. On the whole, therapists recommend clove oil, ginger oil, nutmeg oil and lavender oil for tight and tense muscles.
- Physiotherapy sessions will also be beneficial to you. The exercises will enhance circulation of blood, loosen up the shoulder muscles and also improve the range of movement.
- For extreme pain, have a glass of ginger tea twice a day for about a week. In fact, try to incorporate a glass of ginger tea at least once or twice a week to keep tight muscles at bay.
- Most importantly, watch your posture. Make sure you keep your spine erect and avoid hunching over your desk or computer.
- Exercise a minimum of thrice a week. Exercising keeps your muscles supple and flexible and wards off all tightness. Yoga affords good stretching of all the muscles and keeps them in good shape.
- Another area that you need to manage is stress. Stress is a big causative factor for tightness in the muscles. Slot in any form of stress buster that works for you – Tai Chi, meditation, Yoga, Pilates, aerobics, pottery, cooking gardening, painting; whichever helps to manage your stress, will help you immensely.