Over extension is just one of many causes of muscle strain.
You probably know someone who, at some point, was prescribed muscle “relaxers” to ease the pain of a muscle strain or spasm. These medications help to relieve the pain and discomfort of a tight muscle, but they don’t do a whole lot to address the reason why the muscle is tight in the first place!
Your body contains about seven hundred muscles. Some, like skeletal muscles, are voluntary, meaning you control them through your nervous system when you move bones or exercise for instance. Other muscles, such as the ones found in your organs, work on their own without you doing anything to help them along.
Muscle strains in the back and neck usually result from overuse, overextension, poor posture and failure to stretch the muscles properly either before or after exercise. Muscles become tight to protect themselves but this cuts off the blood supply they need to stay healthy.
Muscle relaxers are often prescribed to ease the pain and spasms associated with tight or torn muscles, but they do nothing to heal these injuries and can, in fact, make them worse. When pain subsides because of these medications the sufferer may believe that the muscle is better, resuming normal activity that can injure the muscle even further. Muscle relaxers can also cause drowsiness/dizziness that makes it impossible to perform certain tasks, such as driving.
So what’s the alternative? Chiropractic care of course! A study that appeared in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported on the results from a clinical trial that compared chiropractic adjustments to muscle relaxers for low back pain.
The study concluded that chiropractic adjustments were more effective than placebos in reducing pain and more effective than both muscle relaxers and placebos in reducing the severity of the symptoms that were documented before the study began.
Gentle chiropractic care is often effective in relieving pain and relaxing muscle tightness, allowing the body to heal on its own. If you or someone you know is interested in more information about chiropractic care for muscle strain, please give our practice a call.