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Muscle Contractures: How To Prevent Them With Natural & Pharmacological Remedies

Anti-inflammatory drugs, heating patches, medicated ointments with natural extracts and massages: what are the best remedies against contractures? Muscle contracture is one of the most common injuries in those who practice sports, but it can also occur in poorly trained subjects. 

In this circumstance, a blockage is created at the muscular level, which determines the appearance of pain and difficulty in movement, which lasts for several days. Many remedies allow you to feel better and regain physical shape quickly. The first choice is certainly made up of anti-inflammatory drugs to be associated with medicated products with painkillers. 

Alternatively, aims for muscle contractures with natural extracts can be used: one of the most effective is the mountain arnica present in Marco Viti Arnica Gel Forte 30%. Even heat can help to restore the normal functions of the body.

 In this regard, you can use heating patches based on natural or synthetic active ingredients, or massage oils for contractures, as the manipulation helps to relax the contracted muscle fibers. Let’s better understand what muscle contractures are and how to counteract and prevent these injuries effectively.

  1. Why are contracts formed?
  2. How to understand if you have a contract?
  3. What drugs to take for muscle contractures?
  4. How to solve contracts with natural products?
  5. How to dissolve muscle contractures?
  6. How to prevent contracts?

Why Are Contracts Formed?

Muscle contractures usually occur following excessive or incorrect stimulation of a muscle, for example, after sudden movements in the cold or after intense sporting activity. In these cases, our body defends itself and prevents the muscle from continuing to be strained incorrectly, with the risk of breaking some structure. 

Therefore, preserving it induces a contraction that is not followed by a relaxation phase. The muscle bundle stiffens and generates pain. In this case, the subject will necessarily have to stop. The most common causes that generate muscle contraction are:

  1. movements practiced cold, without prior warm-up;
  2. excessive physical exertion, for example, when lifting heavy weights;
  3. the wrong posture maintained for many hours;
  4. emotional stress and chronic fatigue;
  5. pregnancy, as weight gain in the abdomen could strain the lumbar muscles;
  6. pathologies that determine a reduced muscle vascularization or metabolic pathologies that reduce the arrival of energy substrates in the periphery;
  7. reduced hydration and electrolyte imbalances ;
  8. cold temperatures create vasoconstriction and, therefore, a reduced blood flow to the muscle.

How To Understand If You Have A Contract?

You can evaluate the symptoms to understand if you are subject to muscle contracture. In these cases, you feel a soreness in the altered area and, feeling the painful area; you feel the muscles stiff, swollen and tense. In addition, there is a limitation in the movements, and this aspect is greater if the extension of the lesion is large; in fact, the contractures can affect anybody’s muscle and afflict several nearby muscle groups.

The symptomatology of a muscle contracture is similar to that in cramps or strains; in the former, however, the pain and muscle tension disappear within a few minutes, in the latter. However, the discomfort that is felt is not continuous, but it is linked to specific movements.

What Drugs To Take For Muscle Contractures?

The drugs used to resolve muscle contractures are essentially painkillers and anti-inflammatories; the most used molecules belong to the category of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Antiphlogistic Drugs), which include acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, diclofenac, nimesulide, ketoprofen, etc. Paracetamol is also part of this class of medicines, but it should be remembered that, unlike the others, it is effective only on pain and not on inflammation.

NSAIDs can be taken either by mouth, in this way they have a systemic effect, or they can be contained in preparations for topical use, such as ointments, creams or gels: for example, Bayer Lasonil pain reliever gel 10% is based on ibuprofen, while Novartis Voltaren Emulgel 1%, also available at 2%, includes diclofenac. These products must be massaged until completely absorbed on the sore area, 2 or 3 times a day.

Among the skin formulations based on these active ingredients, there are also foams such as GlaxoSmithKline Voltalgan 3% skin foam 50 g, which allow for faster absorption, and medicated plasters, for example, Ibsa Flector, which allow for a constant release of the active principle, which lasts for 12-24 hours. Most of these drugs can be purchased in pharmacies without a prescription, but remember not to use them for an extended period: if the pain does not subside within 3-4 days, contact your doctor.

Another class of medicines that can be taken in the presence of contractures consists of muscle relaxants which, as the name implies, have the purpose of relaxing the muscles. Their use can only be done under medical prescription, both those to be taken by mouth and injections can be found on the market.

How To Solve Contracts With Natural Products?

The symptoms of muscle contractures can be mitigated, in some cases, with products based on natural substances. The most effective active ingredients in this sense are two:

The Devil’s Claw

The devil’s claw, the common name of harpagophytum, is a plant native to Africa. It is exploited in preparations for topical use, such as Aboca Biopomata Devil’s Claw 50 ml, because it has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties; therefore, it manages to appease contractures, tendonitis and bruises.

The Arnica

Arnica, present in Erboristeria Magentina Arnica Forte Patches 5 pieces, is a remedy widely used to resolve trauma and inflammation in the muscles and joints, as it boasts anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

On the market, there are also products consisting of a combination of active ingredients; an example is Phyto Garda Reumatol Cream Gel 50 ml based on arnica, bromelain, escin, devil’s claw, rutin and capsicum, the latter being able to heat the area where the preparation is massaged.

How To Dissolve Muscle Contractures?

The first thing to do when you run into a muscle contracture is to rest; depending on the seriousness of the situation, you should avoid straining the injured body part for 3 to 7 days. Secondly, a hot object could be applied to the sore area; we are talking about hot water bottles or heating patches, such as Euritalia Pharma Dolorelax Self-heating patches 3 pieces, which release prolonged heat that lasts several hours, they are very practical to wear and invisible under clothing. 

There are also larger products on the market, such as Montefarmaco Calmadol Fascia Auto Heater, which allow you to cover a large area, such as the shoulders or lower back. A temperature of about 40-41°C helps muscle relaxation and inhibits the transmission of painful stimuli at a central level; this also promotes blood flow into the muscles and consequently induces a faster exchange of oxygen and nutrients, which helps to restore the normal functions of the tissue.

In parallel to this, self-massages can be practiced with oils such as Puressentiel Muscular Stress Organic Massage Oil, which facilitates the area’s manipulation. Essential oils such as Kos Lavender Essential Oil can be added to these preparations, whose aroma helps to relax the body.

Suppose you cannot independently massage the altered area. In that case, you can turn to professionals who, in addition to decontracting manipulations, can use instrumental methodologies based on ultrasound or electrostimulation and teach stretching exercises to mobilize the body.

How To Prevent Contracts?

After overcoming a muscle contracture, it is very important to practice some good habits that help prevent other ones. To do this, you need to know your body and practice sports gradually, by your physical abilities. When you do the exercises, you shouldn’t feel pain; the latter is the alarm bell that the body activates when you are doing something wrong.

 In these cases, it is necessary to stop immediately and wait for the discomfort to pass; if this does not happen or occurs again after a short time, it interrupts the sporting activity. Muscle contractures could occur more easily in those poorly trained, those who do not follow a cadenced exercise program during the week and those who perform movements with excessive vigor.

Especially those not very experienced in physical activity should contact a gym or a personal trainer to reduce the incidence of injuries. Another way to prevent contractures is to eat healthily and hydrate sufficiently, based on the activities you carry out during the day.

 Both water and food supply the muscles with the nourishment they need but also with regulatory molecules, such as mineral salts, which are essential for contraction. A balanced diet should be followed, consuming foods from all food groups and preferring fresh and seasonal foods.

Also Read: Intestinal Detox: 5 Natural Remedies

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