Muscle Contracture Prevention and Treatment

25 December, 2019
For muscle contracture prevention you must do some stretching exercises and warm-up before and after practicing sports.

Muscle contracture prevention is very important. A contracture is a sustained and involuntary muscle contraction. In fact, it’s very common and can happen to the healthiest of us. The problem manifests as intense pain in a specific area that keeps you from moving it properly.

It usually affects your back. However, in reality, it can occur in almost any part of your body. Even though it’s usually associated with exercise, it doesn’t only affect active people. In fact, contractures tend to also appear in sedentary people or in those who only exercise once in a while.

As we mentioned above, contractures are annoying and problematic. Therefore, we’ll explain how to prevent them in today’s article.

Muscle contractures

These are persistent and involuntary contractions of a muscle and are generally due to improperly done exercise. They can also be caused by an extraneous effort without properly preparing the muscle for it. Another cause may be maintaining an incorrect posture for long periods. Also, they’re associated with people with poor elasticity or flexibility.

Muscle contractures can also appear due to tension and stress. These days, they commonly affect the neck and trapezius area. This is due to both stress and the postures we might adopt while working in front of a computer or watching television.

The pain caused by muscle contractures is because blood cannot flow normally. Thus, areas of inflammation occur and waste substances accumulate. This kind of pain also occurs when the muscle fibers fail to relax after exercise.

A woman with back pain.

You might be interested: Four stretches that will help you correct the posture

Muscle contracture prevention

Muscle contractures are due to several easily avoidable causes. So, here are a few tips to prevent them:

Do stretching and warm-up exercises

These exercises prevent overexertion of your muscle fibers. The best times to do them are before and after exercise.

Exercise regularly

If you exercise daily and in moderation and also gradually increase the intensity, then you’ll prevent muscle contractures. You can start with short walks and then increase the time and speed of your strides. Also, you can begin a routine with lightweights if you want to work on your strength.

Maintain a correct posture

As we mentioned above, most modern muscle contractures are due to poor posture. We spend a lot of time in front of computers and televisions and seldom pay attention to our positions. So, it’s important to be aware of your posture and correct it as much as you can.

Take small breaks if you work in an office and must spend a lot of time in the same position. Get up and move around a little. This is the best way to relieve any accumulated tension in your muscles.

A woman with a headache.

Muscle contracture prevention: reduce stress

We tend to have frantic lifestyles these days and fill our lives with stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, this stress often translates into continuous muscle tension. Thus, you must try to either reduce it or relieve it. Try to live life healthier.

To do so, you can also do yoga. In addition to helping you manage anxiety, it’ll greatly benefit your muscles. This is because yoga increases your flexibility and also relaxes your body. It’s one of the most effective exercises you can do to prevent muscle contractures. Similarly, try to practice other relaxation methods. For example, try mindfulness exercises, aromatherapy, and meditation. They’ll help you reduce anxiety and be kinder to yourself and your environment.

Maybe you like: Exercise Routines for Strengthening the Cervical Muscles

Other tips

Try to avoid any sudden changes in temperature. If it’s cold, make sure to warm up, especially before exercising. It’s also very important that you know the correct technique for the exercises you do. Exercising inappropriately can lead to injuries and muscle contractures.

Conclusion

The best way to avoid this problem is through a moderate daily exercise routine. You must increase the intensity progressively though. It’s also important for you to control your exercise techniques. Don’t forget to warm up and stretch before and after any activity.

Consult a physiotherapist if you get a muscle contracture despite following these measures. They’ll help you solve the problem.

  • José Fernando Jiménez Díaz (2006). Lesiones musculares en el deporte (España). https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/710/71000304.pdf
  • Mohamed El Bakkali El Gazuani (2015). Fisiología del calentamiento previo al ejercicio físico y su importancia en la prevención de lesiones musculares. Revisión narrativa (España). http://tauja.ujaen.es/bitstream/10953.1/1761/1/TFG%20EL%20BAKKALI%20EL%20GAZUANI_MOHAMED.pdf