Tight muscles are not only frustrating and painful, but they’re inconvenient since they limit your movement. Worst of all, they can prevent you from continuing to do the things you enjoy. Knowing what causes muscle tightness can help you manage and prevent it from happening in the first place. Take a look at some of the reasons for muscle tightness.

The Main Reason Your Muscles Tighten

When the muscles are in a relaxed state, the fibers have little gaps in between them. As they are contracted in an activity, those bands come closer together. If these bands remain in a certain position for a long period of time or are repetitively used, the muscle fibers close that gap and become glued together. As a result of the fibers becoming glued together, blood flow is reduced, and nerves can become compressed. 


Since the blood flow is restricted, the muscles do not receive the nutrients they need (including oxygen) and are not able to get rid of their waste products. Muscles need calcium to contract. If the calcium is not released from the muscle, then small calcium deposits can build up within the muscle. That means that tight muscles can be from the muscle fibers being stuck together or from calcium deposits.


Things that Cause Muscles to Tighten 

Muscles can tighten up for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the things we do are what causes muscles to tighten; other times it’s caused by things out of our control. Some of the things that cause muscles to tighten up are:

  • Repetitive activities
  • Dehydration
  • Age
  • Low estrogen level
  • An overabundance of sodium and calcium
  • Potassium and Magnesium deficiency
  • Medications


What Are Knots?

Knots are not a result of the build-up of lactic acid, as historically believed. Instead, these knots are constrictions in the muscle fibers. Since the fibers are matted together, blood is not able to flow through the muscles easily. Blood is important because it provides nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and removes waste. Waste removal is difficult with constricted fibers,

sometimes causing calcium depots. Lymphatic fluid movement is also restricted. These muscle constrictions can cause pain, refer pain to other areas, cause headaches and restrict the range of motion.


How to Relieve Muscle Tightness

The best way to relieve muscle soreness is by having the area massaged. Massages help to elongate muscles after they have constricted from doing repetitive tasks or exercise. If you have a specific illness or injury, massages should be scheduled at regular intervals

until you feel relief. 


It’s also important to note that muscle tightness can be prevented with regular massages. Just like performing preventive maintenance on your car, you need to bring your body in for preventive care every season. For optimal results, have your body massaged at least once every three months.


Relieve Muscle Tightness with Spotswood Trail

Spotswood Trail is here to help you treat and prevent muscle tightness. Kathy Volrath is a distinguished Licensed Massage Therapist serving clients in East Rockingham County, Virginia. Give us a call to schedule your appointment and get you back to feeling like yourself.