How To Relax Tense Muscles

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Do you feel body aches and chronic muscle pain? Are you in need of ways to relax your muscles? Look no further. Some studies have linked muscle pain in the upper extremities and low back to stress. 

It’s time to relax a bit. Don’t fret if you don’t know where to start. We’ll walk you through the process. 

In this guide, you’ll learn how to relax tense muscles and the many ways to do it. Read on to learn how: 

1. Why You Have Tense Muscles 

Before we talk about how to relax muscles, let’s discuss why our muscles stiffen or become tense. What causes it? Is muscle tension a symptom of a bigger health issue? 

Muscle tension is one of the body’s physical responses to stress like anxiety and depression. The human body thinks of it as a way to protect itself from injury. This doesn’t limit itself to only psychological, mental, or emotional stress, however. 

Physiological stress from overexercising or exercising with poor techniques also causes muscle tension. When you overuse your muscles, even when you’re not exercising, the body will protect it by keeping it tense. Poor posture also contributes to the tension in your muscles. 

Severe muscle tension may come from performing work activities using poor techniques. For example, you may be carrying heavy loads the wrong way, which causes stress to your muscles. Some mechanical factors like having one longer leg also affect muscle tension. 

2. Relaxing Tense Muscles With Heat 

One of the best ways to ease body aches and muscle pain is to use heat. Applying heat to stiff muscles helps dilate blood vessels and promote blood flow. If you have muscle tension from exercising, heat reduces the lactic acid buildup in them. 

You can take an electric heating blanket to help soothe the tension and pain in your muscles. If you don’t have an electric heating blanket, you can buy heat pads or heat plasters for muscles instead. You can find these in gym equipment stores. 

Another relaxing thing you can do is to go to a sauna or steam room. Sit in the heat for 10-15 minutes and then start stretching your muscles after. If you don’t have the time to go to a sauna, but you have a bathtub, buy Epsom salt. 

Prepare a tub of warm water, add 1 cup (240 ml) of Epsom salt, and wait for it to dissolve before you soak. Sit in the tub and let your skin absorb the salt and replenish your body. Afterward, rinse your body with clean water. 

Note that some people experience irritation around their genital area from Epsom salts. When you experience this, wash the area well with mild soap and warm water. Avoid using Epsom salts and instead opt for hot showers to relax stiff muscles. 

3. Learn Progressive Muscle Relaxation 

One of the best and most effective ways of relaxing your muscles is using progressive muscle relaxation. It focuses on specific muscle groups and is best for self-relaxation techniques. For first-timers, you can do this with audio guides. 

Exercise For Progressive Muscle Relaxation 

Do you often spend your day at work typing away in front of a computer? Help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome by releasing some of the muscle tension in your wrist. You can do exercise this every for a short time every few hours to help relax your wrist muscles. 

This first exercise is simple, fast, and suitable for any position or place. This is the clenched fist muscle relaxation exercise. First, make a tight fist with your right hand while you flex it upward right at your wrist. 

Keep a tight hold on the clench for 8-10 seconds and then relax. Release until your hand becomes limp. Repeat the exercise a few more times, and your right hand will be more relaxed afterward. 

You can stop with your hands and get right to work. If you want to continue, move up to the forearms, upper arms, shoulders, chest, and so on. Hold and flex the muscles in each body part the same way you did with your wrists. 

Once you finish and reach your feet, you can pause and take up to 15 minutes to relax some more. Let the feeling spread throughout your body and enjoy it. After that, you can go back to your daily activities feeling invigorated and comfortable. 

Tips For Practicing PMR 

Now that you know how to relax your muscles, you may wish to improve your technique. 

The first one is to keep practicing. Take two sessions daily, each going for 5-15 minutes, for practice. The more you practice, the better you’re going to get at it. 

You can practice before you go to bed, but don’t practice on your bed. Remember, your goal is to get your body to relax via PMR, not to fall asleep. You can then rest assured that falling asleep will be easier after you complete your PMR exercises. 

Rearrange the order if you feel that it’ll work best for you. If you find it easier to relax starting from the top of your head going down to your feet, start from there. 

4. Use Muscle Therapy Services 

Relaxing tense muscles in hard to reach places is not easy. The good news is that professional muscle therapy services are there to help. You have a ton of choices from chiropractors to acupuncture, to acupressure therapy. 

One of the best picks is myofascial release therapy. It is an effective hands-on treatment that uses gentle, sustained pressure. It focuses on relaxing the fascia (connective tissues) via customized pressure and stretching. 

5. Learn How To Relax Tense Muscles By Getting Enough Rest 

Some final yet effective ways to relax your muscles is to live healthier. You can learn how to relax tense muscles by unlearning unhealthy habits. That includes fixing your sleep schedule if you often lack sleep. 

Adults’ muscles need at least 7 hours of restful sleep to relax and heal. If you exercise or go to the gym, this lengthy rest becomes even more important. If you find it difficult to go to sleep, do some stretching and breathing exercises before you lie down. 

Relieve Your Muscle Tension And Aches With These Methods 

When you finally get relaxed muscles, it’ll be easy to forget about these methods. Remember to keep practicing the exercises and living a healthy lifestyle. Avoid poor posture and overexerting your body whenever you do heavy exercises. 

Now you know how to relax tense muscles. We hope you enjoyed reading and picked up better health habits along the way. If you want to learn more ways on how to reduce pain in these areas, check out our other guides today.