If you’ve been experiencing tightness or stiffness, 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 tightness and stiffness are interchangeable, they each refer to different feelings experienced in different parts of the body. Tightness is related to the muscles, while stiffness presents itself in the joints.
Whether you’re suffering from tight muscles or stiff joints, on this page we’ll highlight the five main causes of nerve damage:
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 sat in the same position for long periods of time, may lead to nerve constriction in the spine which may manifest itself as pain felt in the neck, 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 tight muscles. The best way to remedy this – even if you are employed in a role which necessitates you being sat down for eight hours a day – is to regularly stretch.
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 hands, arms, neck and shoulders, RSI ranges in severity, but tends to become worse 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.
Nerve damage isn’t just caused by poor lifestyle; tightness in the muscles or stiffness in the joints 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 which causes the vertebrae to become hyperextended or hyperflexed. 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.
If you’re experiencing tightness and/or stiffness and you’re looking for a solution, why not drop in today for a Chiropractic consultation nearby?