Muscle tension is like a car that’s idling too fast. The car is revved up and working hard but nothing useful is happening. There’s more wear and tear on the motor. Not only that, but the motor is burning more fuel and creating more pollution.
With muscle tension your muscles are working hard, but are not doing anything that’s useful. The tension doesn’t help you move and it certainly doesn’t make your muscles stronger. It doesn’t really accomplish anything at all.
It does, however, cause a lot of wear and tear on your body. It strains the tendons that hold your muscles to your bones. It pulls the joints tighter together which not only causes horrible grinding and crunching sounds, but also causes the cartilage in your joints to wear out. The tension limits your movement, interferes with your co-ordination and may make you more accident-prone.
The tense muscles burn up the fuel in your muscles, making you feel tired. They also create the equivalent of car exhaust – toxic waste products (called metabolites) that fatigue your muscles and make them feel sore and achy. It’s not uncommon for you to even feel nauseous when this happens.
You know from hard won experience that this muscle tightness is not good, and left untreated, can get even worse.
It’s important that you get your tension under control. Not only will you feel more comfortable, but you’ll also prevent a lot of problems from occurring, from kinks in your neck to early arthritis. To manage your tension, it helps to know what causes it.
Discover what causes muscle tension in in Part 2 of this particular series, and find how what you can do to prevent it or lessen it from happening again by in the future by using massage in Part 3.
See you on the Table!