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Muscle contractures, how to treat them and prevent them


Muscle Contracture

As its name suggests, the muscle contraction is a contraction of the muscle, the maleficent nature lies in the continuity of this contraction of steadily over time. Obviously this permanent contraction is involuntary, being thus the muscles in constant tension. A muscle contracts and are distended, but in some cases, an area of vast muscle not relaxes, and still collapsed. This area stays hard and swollen, hence the patient note a bulge to the touch, commonly called 'knot'.
A Contracture is not a serious injury, but if bothers and which can prevent us from making certain gestures with normal and painless, so good to know identify them, distinguish them from other problems, follow some simple guidelines to minimize their effects and put in the hands of a specialist in physiotherapy if we want to shorten recovery, which, in normal timesthey can range between one and two weeks depending on the severity of it.

Types of muscle spasms

Within the muscular contractions to differentiate between those caused during physical exertion or those that appear after this, and the residual, accompanying another injury.
  • During effort. When performing any physical exercise the body metabolizes active substances to produce movement. This process causes that these active substances are transformed into waste substances or inactive metabolites. When the effort is high, either by the hardness of the exercise, or lack of training, the Agency is unable to debug these metabolites through the bloodstream, which accumulate and generate pain and inflammation.
  • Back to the effort. In this case, the lesion appears by the inability of the muscle back to its resting State. Sometimes, after an intense exercise that muscle has been subjected to a large workload, this are unable to return to their natural state of relaxation by the accumulated fatigue.
  • Residual. After a serious injury (a broken fibers, a fracture, sprain, a strong trauma), the muscles adjacent to the injured area tends to shrink as protection. This contraction for protective purposes, makes that once remedied the main lesion, that adjoining muscle is contracted. It is what is known as the residual CONTRACTURE.

Causes of a muscle contraction

There is a social Strip in which frame the lesion Contracture, since it is a very common muscle damage, but that there are generalities when it comes to be prone to this medical condition. You could enumerate the following groups of risk in which muscle contractures tend to be more frequent and the causes that lead to them:
Sedentary people
A lack of physical activity leads to the absence of sufficient muscle tone. In this way, when an inactive person made a physical effort, his musculature is an impossibility of taking that effort, and appear contractures due to overload.
At the same time, an activity, or an excessive intensity, excess can cause the same damaging pattern. Despite having an excellent physical condition, if the activities exceed capabilities to assume them, we have the same problem of the sedentary type: imbalance between effort and ability to respond to this effort.
Older people
Inherent in the process of aging is the loss of elasticity in muscles and joints. This decline in motor skills causes that any daily and daily activity becomes a strain, and the weakened muscles will spasm with greater ease.
People with stress
This phenomenon increasingly has more victims, since the number of people subjected to heavy stress situations grows rapidly. A situation of this kind makes the patient stress in involuntary and continuous way their structures of the muscle, thus creating the contractures.
People with predisposing works
There are works that require actions potentially harmful to their development. They do not necessarily have to be physical work or with loads of weight, an administrative e.g. that sits throughout your working day, can suffer spasms along back if it does not adopt a correct healthy posture.

Contractures in athletes

Obviously, people who practice a particular sport, which is successively repeated movements of a continuously, are susceptible to this lesion. The level of the athlete and the degree of sports demand will be the determining factor that will mark the frequency of the contractures and the degree of severity of the same. Thus, an athlete casual and undemanding will not suffer the same injury as an elite competitor.
In this section a subsection should be to qualify sports with greater chance of provoking a Contracture, that are based on the grounds that any sport is to repeat a gesture and therefore, from this perspective, any sport tends to create contractions.
Impact sports. In sports such as athletics or basketball, the musculature of these athletes is exposed to "forces" and must support a work of shock absorption. A marathon covering the distance in three hours, will be close to thirty-five thousand strides, which represent thirty-five thousand small impacts that your legs should absorb. A basketball player jumps around forty times in a game, taking into account that the average weight of a professional basketball player round the one hundred kilos, and rising out of the ground between fifty and seventy centimetres of soil, can be concluded that the legs of a basketball player should cushion hundred and sixty pounds forty times per game. Therefore, high impact sports are more prone to that than low impact.
Low impact sports refers to swimming or biking, which are absent from "forces", and the musculature of these athletes is as free support this work of shock absorption.
Ballistic action sports. Any sport that requires a quick and violent gesture to develop is understood as ballistic action sport. A fast and violent gesture is a shot of a volleyball player, beating goal of a footballer, the launch of an athlete (either hammer, Javelin, disc or weight). They are gestures that, on occasions, they become uncontrolled due to the speed of execution, thus forcing the muscles to withstand higher voltages and causing the contractions.
Sports such as cycling, skating, swimming, or the continuous race avoided these ballistic movements.
Sports top train. Human musculature is different according to the region of the body it occupies. For example, the muscles of the extremities are cylindrical, and the flat back. The propensity to contractures is larger in muscles flat to cylindrical, therefore understanding that the back muscles is easiest from contracturar to the extremities. Given this premise, any sport that involves a major effort of the upper train will result in an increased susceptibility to the contractions with a lower exercise.

Symptoms and diagnosis of a muscle contraction

The most common of the muscular contractions and characteristic symptoms are pain and limitation of movements. Both offer a wide range of severity, since in some cases the contractures are small annoyances without impediment to completely disabling injuries.
The symptoms varies depending on two parameters: affected area and extent of CONTRACTURE. Focusing on the first parameter, we find for example that in highland regions of the body, such as the case of the cervical area, contractures reach trigger pictures truly aggressive such as lightheadedness, dizziness, migraines... A syndrome of escalenos (entrapment of the vascular-nervous package of the neck, swelling or spasm of the muscle belly of the scalene muscles) causes sensation of heaviness of the arm, deep pain or paresthesia and cold hands. A pyramidal muscle that increases its thickness due to a Contracture can compress adjacent structures and induce a false sciatica.
As the second parameter, the extent of Contracture, it is clear that a greater dimension of Contracture will stress and exacerbate the effects mentioned above.

Diagnosis of a muscle contraction

The diagnosis is a correct interpretation of the symptoms that the patient will manifest. Subsequently, the diagnosis will focus on palpation of the affect area, looking for bumps or muscle areas with higher voltage. A vast muscle provides resistance determined by palpation as fingers on this slide are, and find a point with greater resistance would mean that, at that particular point, the muscle fibers are collapsed. This appreciation, together with the signal of pain that will cause the patient the palpation of that point, reveal the presence of a muscle contraction.
Similarly, testing the limitations in range of motion, one can see as the injured muscle does not reach the same degrees of mobility than healthy muscle of the opposite side.

A muscle Contracture treatment

Due to the mild ailments such character, a muscle spasm treatment is based on follow some simple guidelines, thanks to which you can minimize and even eliminate its effects without the need for major renovations.
1. Firstly, apply the logic: steer clear of injury mechanism. If an exercise or repetition of a gesture creates a Contracture, these exercises or gestures should be avoided. The rest, on many occasions, is the best method of healing.
2. a very good treatment in the early stages of the Contracture, is the application of dry heat in the affected area, as for example the use of electric pillows. The heat is a potent vasodilator and contribute to blood purification of the segment of the muscle, as well as cause an immediate sense of relief for its analgesic and relaxing effect.
3. the contrast baths are another way to alleviate the painful effects of contractures. This technique is based on the alternate use of the cold water and hot water, causing successive reactions of vasoconstriction and vasodilation, thus stimulating the circulation in the treated limb.
4. the use of Pharmacology is a more aggressive, more chemical, treatment with optimal results. Any anti-inflammatory, either oral ingestion or cutaneous application, will help the recovery of the damaged area.
5 massages. The method more effective and natural of all those exposed earlier. There is no best remedy to a Contracture which put in the hands of a professional manual therapies to eradicate the disease.
The contractures do not respond to a standard pattern in terms of recovery times refers to being a question of overload can not discern long has charged that area. But can be set generically which one already fixed Contracture may be a work of two or three sessions of physical therapy, with its intermediate rest days and a return to the disabled progressively. This can be between one and two weeks since Contracture is treated until it is eliminated completely and the patient can return to his usual routine with complete assurance.

A muscle Contracture prevention

Either because you get your recover a muscle contraction or because you have a tendency to suffer from them, the best way to prevent and avoid relapse will be taking into account these four points:
1. avoid repetitive movements or gestures. If muscle Contracture occurs by contraction sustained in time, a constant repetition of a contraction favors the appearance of this. If it is unavoidable to repeat a gesture for sports or occupational reasons, is convenient to perform small routines for stretching exercises and joint mobility (between five and ten minutes) of the injury-prone areas. These routines would be repeated periodically during all working hours or training session, for example a routine for five minutes every two hours of work.
2. adopt a correct healthy posture, either on the couch while watching TV, in the Office Chair, or even bedtime. Poor posture causes forced contractions of the muscles continuously; improper posture longer, will cause greater CONTRACTURE. In addition to correct postures you should use material to ensure these principles, such as an ergonomic chair for the office or a quality rest mattress.
3. before to undertake any physical activity, a warming consistent with the effort seems as essential to perform. Buy muscle temperature and activation articulate properly before an exercise is the best way to prevent possible injury.
4. almost all treatments and mechanisms for recovery of contractures exposed in the previous paragraph are just as valid as prevention. Contrast baths, massage, or the application of heat, are methods that help prevent the emergence of this lesion.
Article contributed for educational purposes
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