What are lumps in the muscles

Muscle hardening: when the tension causes pain

According to current scientific standards and tested by medical professionals

Overzealous exercise, stress or bad posture at work - various causes can lead to painful muscle hardening. But don't worry, she can usually be treated well by herself. Here you can find out which methods you can use to relieve pain, loosen thickening and prevent hardened muscles in the future.

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doc® Therma

Provides at least eight hours of soothing warmth and can thus alleviate the pain.


Tense muscles explained briefly

Muscle hardening, medically myogelosis, is particularly strong muscle tension. As a result of heavy use, the capillaries (small blood vessels) in the muscles are compressed and thus poorly supplied with blood and oxygen. The result: Local metabolic disorders occur, causing the muscles and connective tissue to swell and “harden”.


Tense muscles: what are the causes?

The most common causes of muscle stiffness include:

  • athletic overload (excessive muscle strain in poor training condition),

  • Bad posture and

  • psychological stress.

Likewise, people with joint diseases (such as osteoarthritis) or nutritional deficiencies (such as magnesium deficiency) are at higher risk of developing myogelosis. If the muscles are subjected to heavy loads despite the hardening of the muscles, there is also the risk of torn muscle fibers because the muscle loses its elasticity. With this sports injury, the function of the affected muscle is usually painfully restricted over a long period of time.


This is how hardened muscles become noticeable

Tempered muscles are manifested by dull pain in the affected muscles. Movement of the muscle is only possible with pain or not at all. Also typical of myogelosis are pressure-sensitive nodes or cord-like thickenings in the muscle tissue. These hardenings can be clearly felt when massaging the corresponding area. The calves, thighs, neck, shoulders and back in particular are often affected by muscle hardening.

Small but nasty: so-called trigger points are also muscle hardening - just punctiform. The "knobs" usually only have a diameter of a few millimeters. The area clearly hurts when you feel it. However, the nodules often radiate completely different areas of the body, which means that many people suffer from pain that they do not know where they started.

Relaxation of muscles

What to do in case of muscle hardening?

In the case of hardened muscles, the first step is to determine the causes. Have you been exercising too hard lately? Stress at work? Or can bad posture be responsible for the pain? If the trigger of muscle strain is avoided and, for example, training is paused, the symptoms usually improve on their own after about four days.

However, there are a few things you can do yourself to relieve muscle tension:

  • Heat applications (for example a hot bath, warm patches or red light radiation) promote blood circulation and have an anti-inflammatory effect.

  • Massages loosen up the stressed muscles and relieve pain.

  • acupuncture, a treatment method from Chinese medicine in which needles are punctually pierced into trigger points, has also proven itself in some patients.

Furthermore you can anti-inflammatory tablets or ointments (for example with the active ingredients ibuprofen or diclofenac) contribute to an improvement in the symptoms. If the pain is severe, the doctor also has the option of prescribing so-called muscle relaxants, which have a muscle-relaxing effect.


doc® Therma

Provides at least eight hours of soothing warmth and can thus alleviate the pain.

Tips and prevention

Preventing myogelosis - but how?

To avoid painful muscle hardening in the first place, you can follow a few tips in everyday life. For example, it is important that you have a sufficient supply of the muscle mineral magnesium. According to the German Nutrition Society, the daily requirement for adults is between 300 and 400 milligrams

Athletes should also make sure to drink enough and to warm up properly before exercising. Because this activates the muscles and prevents hardening.

Various relaxation methods such as meditation exercises or Jacobsen's progressive muscle relaxation, in which stress is relieved by specifically tensing and relaxing the muscles, are particularly suitable for preventing stress-related muscle hardening.

What else might interest you

1 German Nutrition Society e.V .: Reference value for magnesium. URL: https://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/referenzwerte/magnesium/ (April 15, 2018).