Muscle stiffness can be extremely frustrating. It may range from mild discomfort to straight out pain, and it can be significantly worse first thing in the morning upon waking up. Yet, there are so many reasons that may be causing the stiffness, that you may feel at a loss as to how to proceed.
What is Muscle Stiffness?
Muscle stiffness, also called muscle rigidity or muscle tightness, is when soreness, pain, or cramping makes your muscles feel tight. The symptoms make it hard to make any type of movement that is usually pretty simple, such as stretching out your arms or walking.
In a healthy person, the stiffness will usually go away on its own; especially if it was caused by exercise or sleeping in an awkward position. However, if the person has an underlying health condition the stiffness can become chronic.
What Causes Muscle Stiffness?
The causes of muscle stiffness are many:
More serious conditions include:
- Mononucleosis (mono)
Muscle Stiffness Symptoms
If you’re experiencing muscle stiffness there are several symptoms you shouldn’t ignore. If the pain or soreness doesn’t subside within a couple of days, or if it’s accompanied by a fever, headache, chest pain, swelling, bruising, or extreme weakness, they could all be signs that you may have an underlying medical condition. So seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
Also, note if the discomfort started after you began taking new medications and let your doctor know.
Muscle Stiffness Treatment
Home Remedies for Muscle Stiffness
If you have minor stiffness or soreness, there are several simple home remedies, such as massaging the stiff muscles, applying heat therapy, taking warm baths, and resting from your sport of preference.
Related article: 8 Ways to Relieve Sore Muscles
When to See a Doctor for Muscle Stiffness
If you feel pain in addition to stiffness, take over-the-counter medications. If stiffness persists despite these home remedies, schedule a doctor’s appointment.
Muscle Stiffness Prevention
Always warm up before exercising. Learn which types of dynamic stretches work best for your preferred activity and never skip them.
If you don’t exercise, now is a good time to start. In fact, leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause Disuse Syndrome. This is a condition that leads to deterioration of the body due to inactivity, and one of its most common symptoms is chronic pain and muscle stiffness.
If you tend to slouch over a computer at work, mind your posture. Not only does bad posture cause stiffness, but it can also lead to neck and back pain, as well as shoulder impingement.
Finally, drink a lot of water, since dehydration may also be a culprit for muscle stiffness.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re suffering from muscle stiffness, let us help you get back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.