Muscular contractions are a very common problem occurring when certain skeletral muscles unvoluntarily contract, yet in a persistent way and causing intense pain.
Hypertonia, rigidity and hardening of the muscle, perceptible by touch, which has gone out of control of the nervous system, are not the consequence of actual lesions of the muscle fibres, but are due to the occurrence of an unexpected and rapid movement, causing a stretching and distorsion of the fibres themselves.
As a matter of fact, muscle contraction takes place as a form of defence of an overloaded muscle, stimulated beyond its physiological limits, and can last a few days (generally between 3 and 7 days). Predisposing factors can be of different nature: as regards sportsmen, muscular contractions can take place in the lack of proper warm-up or training; in daily life, the disorder can be the result of exposure to cold air, an abrupt and/or sudden and uncoordinated movement, and inadequate posture for prolonged periods.
Typical examples of muscular contraction are lumbago, stiff neck, neck pain.
Whiplash is an acute form of lumbago (2 – 3 days), manifesting itself with intense pain in the lower back. It is accompanied by rigidity of the muscles, that can lead to immediate, though temporary, paralysis.
As for all contractures, causes of this traumatic event are to be traced in abrupt, sudden and not well controlled movements, for instance bending down or standing up suddenly, excessively straining back muscles. Predisposing factors, that can potentially affect individuals of all ages, can be muscular fragility, lack of elasiticity, incorrect posture, traumatic events (accidents or falls), lifting excessive weights, cold, stress, herniated discs, dehydration, spinal arthritis.
Stiff neck is a contracture of the lateral muscles of the neck, therefore usually affecting one side of the neck which becomes painful; in many cases, the head can no longer rotate towards the affected side. It is a very common and unpleasant affection among the population, since the acute phase is characterized by intense pain that can propagate along the muscle bundles, extending down to the shoulders, arms and hands.
This type of contracture involves different predisposing factors and causes, such as: exposure of the neck to cold air, keeping hair wet too long, movements when muscles are “cold”, whiplash, inflammation, herniated cervical disk, overloading muscles. Stiff neck can also be congenital due to a single-sided lesion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle.
More specifically, cervical pain, also called cervicalgy, is a pain in the cervical spine. Patients typically say they have “neck pain”; it is very widespread among the populations and particularly painful, because due to the particular area where it occurs it can affect other anatomical areas, thereby altering their functionality.
Cervical pain is also due to simple contractions of neck muscles, or its onset can depend on degenerative diseases taking over with age, for instance cervical arthrosis. Cervical pain can crop up for short intervals during the day under particular conditions or it can continue persistently for several days, extending down to the arm.
As regards temporary cervical pain, symptoms are abrupt, appearing rapidly and remaining stable, whereas when causes of cervical pain are imputable to the nervous system, symptoms tend to be slower to appear. In both cases, cervical pain implies: headache (on the forehead and above the eyes), nausea, stomach acidity, hot flushes, cramps, tachycardia, difficulty in swallowing, pain and rigidity in the neck, dizziness, loss of balance, weakness in the upper limbs, hearing impairments. Triggering factors in the case of cervical pain are: stress, intense lifestyle, whiplash, falls, work-related tension, remorses, incorrect posture, lack of physical exercise, excess of physical exercise, excessive strain on the neck muscles, unappropriate pillow, uncomfortable bed, bad posture while working at the computer or sitting at a desk, incorrect posture while walking, stiff neck, compressed spine, compressed vertebrae, pulmonary or cardiac problems, arthritis, vertebral dislocations, fractures.
Cervical pain is therefore due to the triggering of an inflammation at the level of the rachis, but which can extend to the disks between the vertebrae and therefore pain extends down to the shoulders and arms, causing stitching pain, tingling, hypotonia as well as contractures of the trapezius and of the splenius, perceivable when touching the area.
Treatment of muscular contractions with conventional medicine
In case of muscular contractions, conventional medicine resorts to non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIMS, an acronym standing for Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medicines), for instance those containing active constituents such as acetyl salicylic acid, ketoprofen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, nimesulide, etc., which are widely recommended and that act by inhibiting synthesis of chemical mediators called “prostaglandins”: such action is at the origin of both the pharmacological activity as well as of numerous side effects.
That being said, it is clear that use of so-called NSAIMs, often turning into an “abuse” given their being easy to retrieve, is inevitably connected to several side-effects. Examples thereof are: inhibition of gastric protection, with consequences ranging from simple irritations to lesions, ulcera and gastrointestinal hemorrhage, inhibition of platelet aggregation, renal ischaemia, generic nephropathy and renal failure, etc.
This is why it is important to have a valid, natural alternative available that can provide relief to painful symptoms and rigidity connected to the problem of muscular contraction, without causing any side-effects whatsoever at the same time.
Nature can help you in case of muscular contractions