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Unlock the Secret: How Muscle Tension Influences Pain”

Today I am going to delve into the question of “why do we feel pain or numbness when our muscles become tense?”

There are roughly three types of pain caused by muscle tension, and understanding the state of our tense muscles is essential to comprehending why these pains occur. To simplify, imagine a tense muscle as one that’s always flexing and cannot relax. When a muscle is exerting force, it becomes:

  • Hard
  • Thick
  • Short
  • Unyielding

We often refer to muscles that have become rigid and can no longer soften as “muscle lock.” More precisely, we define a muscle lock as a state in which the muscle spindle continuously sends a “contract” signal to the muscle.

Pain Caused by Maintaining a Hard and Thick State

As the number of hard, thick muscles increases, the blood vessels between muscles start to get compressed. This impairs blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from reaching where they are needed. This prompts the production of a substance called "bradykinin," which expands blood vessels to improve blood flow. However, bradykinin also causes pain.

At Samurai Zero Balancing Therapy, we search for the tender spots and find a posture that makes the pain disappear, returning the muscles to their original softness. This process works because improving blood flow by reducing the pressure on the blood vessels from the tense muscles stops the production of pain-causing bradykinin.

Symptoms resulting from impaired blood flow include:
・Pain appearing after maintaining the same posture for a while
・Waking up with pain
・Discomfort if not frequently changing sleeping positions
・Relief when warmed
・Numbness in the arms and legs
・Blurred vision

Pain Triggered by Hardness, Shortness, and Inflexibility

If you've felt that "my body has become harder and my range of motion has decreased compared to the past," you're not alone. This isn't due to aging, but likely due to muscle lock. This reduction in flexibility might not seem to greatly disrupt your daily life, but the hard, short, and inflexible state of the muscles can lead to conditions such as intervertebral disc hernia and osteoarthritis of the hip joint.

Symptoms caused by hardness, shortness, and inflexibility include:
・Pain when extending the waist
・Inability to arch the back
・Waist pain when bending forward
・Joint pain
・Joint deformities (like osteoarthritis of the hip and knee)
・Intervertebral disc hernia, intervertebral disc disease
・Reduced range of motion
・Spinal stenosis
・Kyphosis, lordosis

Pain in Case of a Sudden Muscle Lock

Lastly, I will touch on acute pain. In addition to the chronic pain induced by muscle tension, there is also acute pain, which occurs when a certain amount of muscle suddenly locks. In such cases, a substance called "prostaglandin" is generated, even if there's no injury. This prostaglandin binds with bradykinin produced due to insufficient blood flow and triggers severe pain.

Conditions caused by acute lock include:
・Lower back strain
・Minor muscle tears (without internal bleeding)

Although the acute lock and the intense pain it causes can disappear after a few days, the locked muscle remains. If left untreated, it leads to the two types of chronic pain mentioned above. I strongly recommend those who have experienced acute lock, like lower back strain, to consider at least one treatment session. The acute lock can be a warning sign of an accumulated muscle lock, which, if left untreated, can cause severe pain again at any time.

Samurai Zero Balancing Therapy is designed to alleviate these muscle issues, restore your body's balance, and enhance your overall well-being. So, if you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or are simply curious to find out more, please don't hesitate to contact us or make an appointment for a session. Together, we can unlock your muscles and help you live a healthier, pain-free life.