When we feel discomfort in our body, it can impact our entire wellbeing, but finding ways to treat the discomfort at the source may feel like an impossible mission. While massage is the go-to for many individuals to reduce muscle pain and tightness in their body, the question of why our muscles become tight in the first place can be on the minds of many who experience it.
What are the causes of muscle tightness?
We have about 600 muscles in the human body and we can categorise them into three types – skeletal, cardiac, and smooth. Muscle tightness typically affects our skeletal muscles, which comprise 30-40% of our total body mass. This muscle group is what helps us move, function, and perform our daily activities.
When we want to use or move a particular part of the body, our brain sends a nerve signal to each of the muscles in that specific body part, and when that happens, our muscles naturally contract. Typically, after contracting, our muscles then return to a relaxed state until you need to use them again. However, sometimes our muscles can remain in a fully or partially contracted state for a certain period of time causing discomfort.
One of the biggest causes of muscle tension is stress. Stress can do a number on our body and mind, and it can display throughout the body as physical pain, and tension, as well as other complex symptoms like high blood pressure or digestive problems. In terms of muscle tightness, stress can impact the nervous system and its functionality, which we need to function optimally in order for our muscles to go from a contracted to a relaxed state. When our nervous system is impacted, our muscles can often suffer as a result.
Other reasons for muscle discomfort include: Dehydration Prolonged inactivity Poor posture Muscle strain
Massage therapy is a great way to keep our muscles loose and free of tightness. While there are many reasons why massage can be beneficial for you, especially when you incorporate it into your regular wellness routine, one of the greatest benefits is its ability to enhance circulation and blood supply to tight muscles.