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Causes of Joint Stiffness and Muscle Tightness

If you’ve been experiencing joint stiffness and muscle tightness, you shouldn’t just assume that this is an inevitable consequence of the lifestyle you lead. These feelings are your body’s way of telling you there’s something wrong – usually in your spine.

While you may assume the feeling of muscle tightness and joint stiffness are interchangeable, they each refer to different feelings experienced in other parts of the body. Tightness is related to the muscles, while stiffness presents itself in the joints due to a number of causes that we will discuss throughout the article.

On this page, we’ll highlight the five leading causes of nerve damage along with how to loosen stiff muscles and relieve joint stiffness. 

1. Poor posture

Remember at school when you were taught to ‘stand up’ or ‘sit’ straight? Your teachers had a point. Poor posture, especially if you’re sitting in the same position for long periods of time, can lead to nerve constriction in the spine, which may manifest itself as tight neck muscles, as well as joint stiffness and tightness in the back, arms and legs.

2. Reduced movement

Humans are naturally hunter-gatherers – we’re built to roam around and work our bodies throughout the day, every day. Those who work in sedentary jobs may often experience stiffness and/or tightness. This is because, while remaining in a static position all day, the lactic acid in your body has built up, resulting in stiff joints and muscle tightness. The best way to release tight muscles and joints – even if you are employed in a role that necessitates sitting down for eight hours a day – is to stretch regularly. Even if it means just applying some simple movements on the hour, every hour.

3. Overuse or Repetitive Strain Injuries

Repetitive strain injury, or RSI, is the medical term used for pain experienced due to repetitive movement and overuse. Most common in the wrists, arms, neck and shoulders, RSI ranges in severity but tends to worsen over time. RSI is usually caused by overuse of the muscles or tendons and is common in workers whose jobs involve repetitive tasks, for example, checkout workers.

4. Poor sleeping habits

Have you ever woken up and found that you have a stiff neck or back? This could be caused by sleeping in an unnatural position. While you’re asleep, your body stays still; if your spine is twisted or not straight during the night, your spinal nerves may be constricted, leading to problems elsewhere in your body.

5. Trauma

Nerve damage isn’t just caused by a poor lifestyle; muscles tightness or joint stiffness may also be experienced as a result of trauma – whether that’s a car accident, an issue at work or just a sudden movement of the head that causes the vertebrae to become hyperextended or hyper-flexed. This form of trauma, most commonly known as whiplash, is quite a common injury, and although its effects often alleviate over time, it may also lead to worse nerve damage.

Dr Steven Lockstone is one of the best chiropractors in Sydney. MyChiro offers a natural alternative healing to drugs and surgery. Whether you’re looking for stiff joint pain relief, posture correction, or insight into what’s causing your pain, MyChiro at Chiropractors Bondi Junction are a click away from starting your journey on the road to recovery. Contact one of our team members today.

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