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Why Muscles get Stiff and Sore


Because people age, they start to complain more of pains in their muscles and joints. They seem to tighten up with age, and such humdrum actions as bending over for the morning paper can cause them cringe.

Such painfulness can grip so fiercely that they're sure it commences deep in their bones. Simply the actual cause of stiffness and soreness rests not in the joints or bones, according to research at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, but in the muscular tissue and connective tissues that move the joints.

The frictional resistance brought forth by the two rubbing surfaces of bones in the joints is negligible, even in joints damaged by arthritis.

Flexibility comprises the medical term used to distinguish the range of a joint's motion from full movement in one direction to full movement in the other. The greater the range of movement, the more flexible the joint.

If you bend forward at the hip joint and touch your toes with your fingertips, you've beneficial flexibility, or range of motion of the hip joints. But can you bend over easily with a minimum outlay of energy and force? The effort called for to bend a joint is just as significant as its range of potential movement.

Different elements restrict the flexibility and ease of movement in different joints and muscles. In the elbow and knee, the bony structure itself sets a definite limitation. In other joints, such as the ankle joint, hip joint, and backbone, the soft tissue muscle and connective tissue restrict the movement range.

The problem of uncompromising joints and muscles is similar to the difficulty of opening and closing a gate because of a seldom used and rusty hinge that's become balky.

Therefore, if people don't on a regular basis move their muscles and joints through their entire ranges of motion, they lose some of their potential. That's why when these people will attempt to move a joint after an extended period of inactivity, they experience pain, and that deters additional use.

What occurs next is that the muscles become shortened with protracted neglect and brings about muscle spasm and cramps that can be bothersome and exceedingly painful. The immobilizing of muscles, as researchers have exhibited with research laboratory animals, brings about biochemical changes in the tissue.

Notwithstanding, additional factors set off painful muscles. Here are some of them:

1. Excessive exercise -Have you always believed in the saying, No pain, no gain? If you do, then, it is not so surprising if you've already felt sensitive muscles.

The trouble with most people is that they exercise too much believing that it's the quickest and the most certain way to lose weight. Till they ache, they tend to disregard their muscles and connective tissue, even though they're what quite literally holds the body together.

2. Aging and inactiveness -Connective tissue holds muscle to bone by tendons, binds bone to bone by ligaments, and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fasciae. With old age, the tendons, ligaments, and fasciae become less extensile. The tendons, with their thickly bundled fibers, are the most difficult to stretch. The easiest are the fasciae. But if they are not stretched to improve joint mobility, the fasciae shorten, placing undue pressure on the nerve nerve pathway* in the muscle fasciae. A lot of aches and pains are the consequence of nerve impulses traveling along these pressured nerve pathway.

3. Immobility -Sensitive muscles or muscle pain can be agonising, owing to the body's reaction to a cramp or ache. In this reaction, called the splinting reflex, the body automatically immobilizes a sore muscle by causing it to contract. Therefore, a sore muscle can set off a vicious circle painfulness.

Firstly, an idle muscle becomes tender from physical exercise or being held in an strange position. The body then reacts with the splinting reflex, shortening the connective tissue around the muscle. This causes further pain, and in time the whole area is hurting. One of the most common sites for this problem is the lower back pain.

4. Muscle spasm theory -In the physiology research laboratory at the University of Southern California, some people have set out to discover more about this cycle of pain.

Using some device, they measured electrical activity in the muscles. The researchers knew that normal, well-relaxed muscles produce no electrical activity, whereas, muscles that are not fully at ease show considerable activity.

In one experiment, the researchers measured these electrical signals in the muscles of individuals with athletic injuries, first with the muscle immobilised, and then, after the muscle had been extended.

In just about every case, exercises that stretched or lengthened the muscle lessened electrical activity and alleviated pain, either completely or partly.

These experiments led to the spasm theory, an explanation of the development and persistence of muscle pain in the absence of any visible cause, such as traumatic injury.

According to this hypothesis, a muscle that is overworked or used in a unusual position gets fatigued and as a result, painful muscles.

Therefore, it's exceedingly important to know the limitations and capability of the muscles in order to avert sore muscles. This goes to show that there is no truth in the saying, No pain, no gain. What counts most is on how people stay fit by exercising on a regular basis at a normal range but on a fixed routine.

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