Tight Muscles

Sometimes, a person’s muscles may feel tight and rigid. Muscle stiffness is when the muscles feel tight and difficult to move, particularly after resting.

In some cases, muscle tightness and rigidity may come with other symptoms, such as muscle pain, muscle spasms, or reduced mobility. Mild muscle tightness and rigidity is often benign and treatable. But muscle tightness and rigidity that is severe, chronic, or comes on very suddenly can signal a serious underlying health condition.


  1. Sprains and strains-  sprain affects a ligament, while a strain affects a muscle or tendon.
  2. Exercise-related muscle stiffness can occur following excessive exercise or a sudden change to a person’s exercise routine.
  3. A sedentary lifestyle can weaken the muscles, making them vulnerable to injury. Muscle tightness and rigidity can develop due to a lack of exercise or as a result of sitting for prolonged periods at work or at home.
  4. Dehydration deprives the body of the fluids and electrolytes it needs to function well. This can cause muscle cramps
  5. Influenza (flu) causes body ache and muscle stiffness. For some people, this is the most painful symptom of the virus.
  6. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder that causes a person to feel intense mental and physical fatigue. Some people also experience muscle stiffness or weakness
  7. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease involving muscle pain, usually in specific tender spots. Other possible symptoms include: fatigue , brain fog and depression
  8. Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurological disorder that usually appears later in life. Muscle tension or rigidity can be an early warning sign of PD.
  9. Stiff person syndrome (SPD) is a rare neurological disorder that causes periods of muscle pain, stiffness, and spasms.


  1. Sprain and strain injuries and exercise related muscle stiffness heal on their own. A person can also try the following home remedies to assist their recovery:     

                        I-Apply a cold compress,
                        C-compression bandage to reduce swelling,
                        E-elevate the affected limb to reduce swelling and inflammation.
       2. Drinking more water can help to both prevent and treat dehydration
       3. Physical therapy to improve mobility
       4. For minor muscle stiffness with no other symptoms, a person should start with self-management techniques, such as gentle stretching and applying cold or warm compresses. If the person also experiences pain that worsens or does not go away, they should contact their doctor.

Written By;

Phylis Iguta,
Physical Therapist,
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

Why Do Muscles Feel Tight?

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