7 Ways to Help with Muscle Tightness

Virtually all of us have experienced muscle tightness before. There are numerous potential causes for muscle tightness, including some that are tied to diseases. The most obvious causes are soreness from exercise and overuse. How can you tell if your stiffness is a medical condition and not from exercise? Likely there are other symptoms that point you toward the need to see a doctor.

All sorts of ailments, from mild to life-threatening, can cause muscle tightness. Some potential causes are: infection, flu, lupus, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia (spasms), Huntington’s disease and many others. Don’t freak out. Chances are high your muscle tightness is from overuse or exercise. If you feel there may be a medical cause for your muscle tightness a doctor’s visit is in order. In most cases, there are a number of ways you can help treat the condition without medical assistance (or very little).

Older people may find their muscles tighten up after periods of inactivity, such as sleeping or sitting for long periods. Aging itself can trigger muscle tightness, often from arthritis.

You have determined that it isn’t old age causes your problems. It isn’t likely disease or illness, either. Almost all muscle tightness will go away with rest. But there are things you can do to help right away.

1. Improve core strength

The muscles of your abdomen, sides and lower back make up your core. Core training goes beyond the famous six-pack abs. These muscles are important as they support your body. Without a strong core, you can experience back and shoulder pain. Prolonged periods of sedentary activity can weaken your core. Many of us sit at our jobs (and at home), making core training even more important.

The plank is an excellent exercise to develop the core. Rest your body on your elbows and toes while keeping your body straight, then hold that position for up to a minute. Planks give a workout to every muscle of your core. The crunch and the bridge are two of many other great exercises to strengthen your core. Think of improving your core as a preventative measure.