At the end of a long, tiring day, your muscles may feel tense and need to relax. It is also possible that after a grueling workout in the gym they are extremely contracted. You should take care of them whenever they seem stiff and sore to you. You can practice meditation or yoga to relax your whole body, do some stretching exercises, or ask a friend or professional to give you a massage when your muscles are tense and sore. If these remedies do not prove effective, consult your doctor to see if there is a suitable therapy for your needs.
Use Heat to Relax Stiff Muscles
Use an electric blanket to warm tense, sore muscles. Heat dulls dull pain and any inflammation. You can buy an electric blanket at a shopping center and apply it as needed. Follow the instructions on the package to use it correctly.
You can also buy a heat pad for particular areas of the body at a drugstore or sporting goods store.
Take a warm bath with Epsom salts for 15 minutes. Add about 250g of Epsom salts to the hot water and wait for them to dissolve completely before submerging. Stay in the tub until you feel your muscles begin to relax. When you’re done, rinse off.
Epsom salts dissolve in hot water and are absorbed by the skin, relieving inflammation, improving muscle and nerve function and replenishing the consumption of magnesium. The latter, in turn, promotes the production of serotonin, a chemical that promotes a general feeling of calm and relaxation.
Epsom salts can irritate the genital areas in some people. If this is your case, wash the area thoroughly with a mild intimate cleanser and lukewarm water and discontinue use.
Take a sauna or steam room for 10-15 minutes. They are two excellent methods of warming up the muscles and reactivating blood circulation. They also promote oxygenation of the body and the distribution of nutrients to muscle fibers. Spend 10-15 minutes in the sauna or Turkish bath to warm up your body, then do some stretching exercises taking advantage of your state of relaxation. It is especially useful at the end of a workout or physical activity.
In general, large gyms are equipped with a sauna or Turkish bath. Many hotels also have these facilities next to the swimming pool.
Contract and Relax Muscles
Compress and relax sore muscles to relieve tension. By applying light pressure you will stimulate blood circulation and muscle relaxation. Consider this exercise as a targeted massage. For example, use your left hand to compress the right shoulder deltoid. Take a slow, deep breath and squeeze it between your fingers for 5 seconds, then loosen your grip and exhale calmly. Keep your arm relaxed so you don’t stress surrounding muscles.
Repeat the exercise for about 5 minutes before switching to another muscle.
Stretch to relax tight muscles. To prevent stiffness and pain in the muscles it is very important to warm up and cool down adequately before and after physical activity. To effectively relieve tension, stretch each muscle group for about 15-30 seconds until you feel moderate tension, free from actual pain. The following exercises are very useful:
If your calves hurt, slowly rotate your ankles several times until you make circles.
Briskly flex and straighten your toes to stretch the calf muscles.
Shrug your shoulders closer to your ears, then rotate them back and forth. This exercise relaxes the shoulders and upper back.
Tilt your head sideways, first towards one shoulder and then towards the other, and hold the position for 15-20 seconds. Stop if the tension is unbearable. This exercise should stretch the neck muscles.
Practice light aerobic activity to maintain muscle flexibility and agility. Low-intensity cardio exercises are a great way to activate blood circulation and, as a result, relax and stretch your muscles. Just walk on a treadmill or jog in the fresh air at a fast pace for 15-20 minutes. Remember that the pace must be faster than that of a simple walk, but not as fast as that of running. The goal is to relax the muscles, as opposed to a more vigorous activity which can cause tension.
You can also jump rope or swim for 10-15 minutes.
Relax the Body to Relieve Muscle Tension
Get at least 7 hours of sleep. It is essential for everyone to sleep each night for the appropriate number of hours based on their age, regardless of the amount of daily commitments. Adequate rest allows the muscles to relax and recover after a busy day. If you exercise and don’t recover with a good night’s sleep, your muscles won’t be able to stretch and may contract during the day.
Teens need around 8 hours of sleep, while adults should sleep at least 7 hours.
Breathe slowly to relax the shoulder and chest muscles. This way you can relieve muscle tension by spreading oxygen throughout the body. Breathe in slowly for 4 seconds, then breathe out for another 4 seconds. As you take in the air, try to breathe deeply. Repeat this exercise for about 15-20 times or until you feel physically relaxed.
Breathe slowly and deeply while sitting or lying down.
Meditate to relax muscles and reduce physical stress. Meditation allows you to stretch your muscles and fight stress. Find a quiet area away from distractions and interference. You can cross your legs and sit with your back straight or lie on your back while taking slow, deep breaths, focusing exclusively on the air entering and leaving your body. Free your mind of all worries and imagine the muscle tension as it leaves you.
Although you can meditate at any time of the day, the evening hours are more suitable for this practice because they prepare the body for rest.
If you can’t find time for a complete meditation session, try listening to a piece of music or some relaxing noise, such as that of the sea or rain. It will help you relax and clear your mind even while working at your desk.
Try yoga to stretch and relax your muscles. Although certain yoga poses stimulate aerobic work, they can also worsen muscle tension. Instead, opt for a slower type of yoga that can stretch sore muscles without straining them. To find out which positions are best suited to your fitness, try different exercises with various instructors.
If you’d rather give it a try at a yoga school, search the Internet for “yoga school” and the name of your city.
If you can’t find any school, check out the free tutorials on the most popular virtual platforms in video sharing, like YouTube.
Seek Professional Help
Find a professional massage therapist. Usually wellness centers offer decontracting massages that exert strong pressure on the muscle tissues located deeper, impossible to reach with your hands. Tell the massage therapist which muscle group has stiffened and undergo a treatment of at least 30 minutes.
Search the Internet for a massage center near you by typing, for example, “massage center run by qualified operators ” and the name of your city.
Consult a chiropractor and ask if they can relieve muscle tension. The chiropractor performs bone manipulations in order to relieve inflammation and pain; he also resorts to electrical stimulation and massage therapy. If you have a tight muscle that needs to relax, it can give you immediate relief. The sessions last 15-30 minutes, although it is better to schedule them a few days in advance.
Depending on the severity of the pain, you will likely need to visit his office 2-3 times a week for a certain amount of time after treatment to continue managing the pain.
Chiropractic may be covered by health insurance. If you have a contract, read the policy or contact your insurance company to be sure.
Try acupuncture to relieve tension in specific muscle groups. It is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to help heal various ailments. It has been shown to soothe tense muscles, reduce inflammation and relieve stress. Typically a session lasts 20-30 minutes.
Search the Internet for a qualified acupuncturist near you by writing “professional acupuncturist ” and the name of your city.
Try acupressure if you don’t like the idea of introducing needles into your body. Acupressure experts use the fingers, hands, elbows or other tools to apply pressure to specific points on the body (basically the same ones used by acupuncture). You can also include massage and muscle stretching phases. Acupressure is able to reduce tension and improve circulation by promoting a state of relaxation. Search the Internet for a qualified acupressure therapist near you.
The principle of acupressure is similar to that of acupuncture, but does not involve the insertion of needles into the body.
Treat Muscle Pain With Drugs
Try a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory if the pain is mild. NSAIDs are used to relieve pain and keep swelling and inflammation at bay. You can buy them with or without a prescription. Follow the instructions on the package insert. Generally, you shouldn’t take more than 1200 mg in any 24 hour period.
The best known and most effective NSAIDs are Brufen and Moment (based on ibuprofen).
Take a magnesium and zinc supplement to help ease muscle pain. Magnesium and zinc promote muscle relaxation. They are found in spinach, peanuts, brown rice and almonds. You can also take them in the form of supplements.
Consult your doctor if you are concerned about taking magnesium as a supplement. It is not subject to a prescription, so you can buy it freely.
Ask your doctor if you can take a muscle relaxant. It is a drug that relaxes the muscles because it works by blocking communication between the nerves and the brain. Usually you have to combine it with rest and physiotherapy, if you want to get a more effective treatment for pain and muscle tension. Some drugs with a muscle relaxant action should be taken for a limited period of time, as they can be addictive.
Consult your doctor for more information on this category of drugs. He may also prescribe a muscle relaxant in combination with aspirin.
Ask your doctor if you can take cyclobenzaprine for muscle spasms. You can use this drug for a long time without the risk of addiction. It is typically prescribed to relieve low back pain accompanied by muscle spasms.
Cyclobenzaprine has no contraindications for pregnant women, but should only be taken under the recommendation and careful supervision of the gynecologist.
Do not take it if you suffer from heart rhythm disturbances or hyperthyroidism.
Consider a diazepam drug (such as Valium) if you have severe pain or spasms. Valium is usually taken to relieve low back pain accompanied by muscle spasms. It is effective against muscle tension and pain in severe form. If this applies to you, ask your doctor if he can prescribe it for you.
It is very effective, but it can be addictive, so it should not be used for long periods of time. Your doctor will likely prescribe you to take it for 1-2 weeks.
In most cases it is only recommended for severe or chronic muscle pain.
Avoid drinking alcohol, driving or operating heavy machinery while on treatment.