In a healthy person muscles work in a coordinated manner to help produce simple to complex movements. With overuse and injury those same muscles loose their normal coordination and switch to a protective role. Those muscles will tighten or spasm to protect itself or nearby joint from any movements that might cause excessive movement to the injured area.
Its a good strategy, but its effects are often more than necessary and can affect daily activities. Specialized muscle release techniques use a combination of compression and stretch to release tension and reset the sensors in those muscles. Adding movement to a muscle release helps restore the muscles normal function through its entire functional range, not just in the resting position where typical treatment is performed.
What are the long term effects of a muscle in spasm?
The initial effects of a tight muscle are pain, soreness and often a loss of motion or strength. Over time a muscle in spasm can begin to degrade at a cellular level since blood flow is reduced, toxins can accumulate and healing is impaired. Its related joints are also stressed from the prolonged pull of a tight muscle which can then effect other muscles surrounding that joint.
Beyond this spreading effect, muscles that are tight or in spasm don’t fire effectively leading to a decrease in the efficiency or simple tasks like walking or lifting. This too can eventually lead to further injury since the body is not moving or working in it’s normal manner. These altered movement patterns can eventually lead to back, knee, neck, shoulder or hip pain.