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As tension a painful condition in particular is neck - and shoulder muscles called, in which the muscle tone has increased permanently by overexertion or unilateral stance. Tension in other parts of the body also occurs, but is much less common. In order to avoid muscle pain , one unconsciously takes a gentle posture , which can additionally increase the tension of some muscles and lead to a vicious circle .

Most common causes

A common cause of tense shoulders or necks is sitting motionless for long periods of time, such as working for hours on the computer , playing video games , writing or reading books for a long time. It is therefore generally recommended that you take a 5 to 10 minute break at least every hour .

Even an unfavorable sleeping position can lead to tension, further unilateral or poor posture at work and in sports practice .

Also psychosomatic causes are common, especially long emotional distress and excessive demands . A study by German insurance companies with over 1200 people demonstrated significant connections between subjective well-being and stress-inducing processes. In everyday working life, the symptoms of stress and tension increase with age and reach their maximum values ​​in 44 to 50 year olds.

Three muscles often affected

Three muscles in particular react to long-term stress with shortening: the shoulder blade lifter , the trapezius muscle and the upper bone muscle .

Tensioning the shoulder blade lifter can also irritate the back of the head nerves and lead to headaches , from which around 40 percent of adults suffer at least temporarily. Surface electromyography can determine whether the pain is primarily from the shoulder and neck muscles .

The muscles that have been tense for a long time from stress or improper use lose their normal elasticity and harden, which causes muscle pain.

Possible therapies and aids

The relaxation of tension in the upper body can be done in several ways, but requires a considerable amount of time when pain has become chronic:

  1. Massage the affected parts of the body and their surroundings
  2. Movement , as it acts like a massage on the spine, loosens the muscles and stimulates the nutrient supply to the tissue
  3. regular gymnastics , especially of the shoulders and back
  4. Acupuncture and acupressure are used in complementary medicine
  5. Kneipp treatments with warm or rising showers and breaks
  6. Heat treatment, e.g. B. with fango packs , traditional heating pads or a grain pad
  7. targeted meditation or relaxation exercises, e.g. B. Progressive muscle relaxation
  8. Change of lifestyle, avoidance of distress
  9. Ergonomically better armchair , springy backrest, etc.
  10. More suitable mattress , better shaped head cushion

Another possibility is painkiller injections by an orthopedic surgeon or family doctor. These last for a maximum of one day. Diclofenac syringes usually do not offer any particular advantages over oral intake. In addition, even more cortisone injections used.

See also

Literature and Sources

Individual evidence

  1. M. Burnus, V. Steinhardt, V. Benner, A. Drabik, S. Stock: Stress and muscle tension at the computer workstation. In: Prevention and Health Promotion. August 2012, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp. 182–189.