Muscle tension is a frequent problem affecting all people around the world. It is no wonder that many are on the search the for the solution to both long and short term problems. There are various reasons why one may experience muscle tension, including stress, poor posture, physically demanding/labour jobs, repetitive movements, and improper use of body mechanics. Despite the many solutions available to treating these problems, what’s truly imperative is correcting and unlearning the behavior that causes the problem in the first place.
One option for treating muscle tension is through the use of massage therapy. It involves putting pressure on the affected areas, massaging the tight muscles and other soft tissue in an effort to promote health and mobility. Through a massage, one can discover areas of muscle which are sore, contracted, or not being used efficiently. Additional techniques, such as acupuncture or acupressure are able to also release areas of soreness and tension in the body. Massages do not solve the problem forever, and in order for them to be truly effective, should be performed at least once per month.
For more intricate adjustments, perhaps a chiropractor would be more suitable than a massage therapist. Adjusting the alignment of one’s body as well as detecting behaviors that might be leading to the increased tension are just a couple of procedures a chiropractor will do. He or she will also be able to educate patients on proper body mechanics and movement patterns so that they will not accidentally injure themselves in their daily activities. Furthermore, health insurance coverage may extend up to chiropractic visits, but this is most likely not the case for massage therapy.
Enjoying a hot bath or spa may also be beneficial for treating muscle tension. The high temperature will aid in relaxing the muscles, thereby loosening them. This comes with the added benefit of bathing in essential oils and bath salts to target other areas of soreness and stress. Those who suffer from chronic muscle pain might want to use a hot tub or jacuzzi often, or at least use hot packs on tight areas. With that said, first seek counsel with a medical professional, as heat therapy may be contraindicated in certain conditions.
Correct Poor Movement Patterns and Body Mechanics
Perhaps the simplest yet greatest change one can do in order to relieve muscle tension is to correct and unlearn their behavior. For example, it is always a good idea to keep your back straight and lift with your legs when picking up heavy objects, as arching the back will make it susceptible to injury. Another is to practice keeping their body upright to avoid slouching. Most people, such as those who work in front of a desk many hours each day, can do this by puffing their chest out, keeping the shoulders hanging downwards and back, and pinching the shoulder blades together. A physiotherapist will be able to assist with more corrective exercises and movement patterns.
Alter Your Behavior
Another beneficial change to relieve muscle tension is to change your behavior. If you are in a highly stressful work environment, try to discover ways you can reduce your stress and express your needs to others who are sharing the environment. It would also be prudent to seek psychological counseling to aid you in lowering your stress levels. Furthermore, it would not hurt to establish an ergonomic workspace to promote comfort, as well as position your body correctly when working for many hours on the job.
Items such as a neck pillow, or an elevating cushion are some simple, low cost solutions that can provide great benefits. Try to stretch the body for a few minutes every hour, and this is especially true if you work in front of a desk or generally sit for the majority of the day. Some additional tweaks you may add is to use a headset instead of trying to pinch a phone between your ear and shoulders for calls, sit in a ergonomically designed chair, and shuffling items on the desk to ensure that their is sufficient space to work properly without compromising posture.
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