Sometimes by the end of the day, we feel a dull pain in our muscles which results in us not being able to bend or turn our head around. The reason for this is something called ’body armor’ – a muscle spasm which got its name from Wilhelm Reich. He was the first person to notice the connection between stress and the body’s reaction to it. He explained it as the habit most people have of holding everything in and the inability to express emotions. All of this results in a situation where any psychological problem appears in the form of muscle tension and spasms in a person’s body.
We at Bright Side found 5 exercises aiming at removing those blocks. They don’t take much time and you should see fast results.
1. If you have pain in the middle part of your back and in your waist
Constant back muscle tension and cramping can result in various diseases like osteochondrosis, muscular blockage of spinal discs, intervertebral hernia, and curving of the spine.
Additionally, pinched vertebra can cause pain in the heart, headaches, vertigo, and even blurred vision.
How to remove tension in the back:
This exercise can help you remove painful tension in your back muscles.
- Stand straight. Lift your arms up and place them behind your head.
- Bend backward slightly. Your back should be in the shape of an arc.
- Go back to the initial position.
Repeat 5 times.
2. If you have pain in your neck and the upper part of your back
It’s likely that right now you are sitting in front of your computer while reading this article. Try to assess whether your neck is in the right position or not:
- your shoulders shouldn’t be lifted up;
- your trapezius muscles shouldn’t be tense.
The tension in your trapezius muscles often appears due to stress and fatigue, as well as, the habit to slouch or tense your shoulders and hold them up.
How to remove pain in your neck and shoulders:
The neck is the first part of the body that reacts to stress. The tension in it negatively affects the work of blood vessels and nerves. As a result, the brain gets less oxygen and nutrients than it needs to function and the muscles become weaker.
To prevent your body from all of these, do the following:
- Stand straight and place your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Place your hands on your waist and bend your head forward and then backward.
Do 8 reps.
How to remove neck and shoulder cramps:
Factors causing pain in the trapezius muscles can be the following: not cooling down after a workout, not enough warming up before physical training, performing monotonous movements, and carrying heavy bags and backpacks. All of these can result in developing myositis — the inflammation of muscle tissue.
- Stand straight, and place your hands behind your neck.
- Bend and lower the neck to the right, and then to the left.
- If you feel that it’s too difficult, help yourself with your hands — this will increase the stretch in the muscles.
- Stay in the ’lower’ position for 10 seconds with each bend.
3. If you have facial cramps
Sometimes head and facial muscles also get affected by stress.
You may not feel a muscle cramp on your face but it’s pretty easy to discover one if you look. The most vivid proof of a ’muscle armor’ on your face is a frozen grimace. Study your face carefully in a mirror, examine it — the areas where you feel tension definitely need to be relaxed. The tension in the forehead area may lead to a migraine and an increase in intracranial pressure, the tension around your eyes may result in edemas, black spots, and rapid fatigue, the tension in your jaw may lead to problems with your teeth and spasms of the vessels which nourish the skin of the face.
How to remove tension in facial muscles:
- Stand straight. Place your hands behind your back — don’t intercross your fingers.
- Turn your head from one side to the other.
- If you feel any discomfort, help yourself with your hands.
- Do 4 reps on each side.
After doing the exercises, gently massage your face with your fingers.
4. If you have tension and pain in your overall body
The cramping of the back muscles affects the back negatively and can lead to a curvature of the spine. When you’re up and moving around, the pinched vertebrae can affect the neurons of the spinal cord, which can cause painful sensations in any of your internal organs. Additionally, the squeezing of the blood vessels creates tissue edemas and causes overall pain in the body.
How to remove physical tension:
This exercise will decrease the load on the core muscles, the lower part of the back, and the abdominal muscles.
- Stand straight. Place your hands behind your head.
- Bend your body to the right side stretching your left arm to the right side too.
- Go back to the initial position and repeat the exercise on the other side.
Do 4 reps on each side.
5. If you have a psychological tension
It’s very important to learn how to recognize psychological stress and get rid of it. You will keep feeling a light tension during the day and if you leave it as it is, it might grow into an increased anxiety or could turn into a neurosis.
It’s worth remembering that the faster you try to solve your issues, the higher the probability is that they will become a depressive condition or stress. If you frequently catch yourself thinking about the same thing, do the following exercise.
How to remove psychological tension:
This universal exercise is good for people that constantly feel emotional discomfort and physical fatigue.
- Find a quiet and peaceful place. The best option is a well-aired room. The exercise can be performed in either a standing or a sitting position.
- Stand straight, keep your legs together. Close your eyes and relax them, breathe calmly. Keep your head straight and in a natural position without tension. Keep your arms along the body. If you are performing the exercise in a sitting position, keep your arms by your legs.
- By moving your shoulders backward and down, make a movement as if you are trying to throw something off your shoulders. Afterward, shift the weight of your body to the pelvis. Try to relax and feel the strength of your leg muscles.
- Return to your physical balance. You will be able to do this when the tension disappears. Stay relaxed and don’t do any extra movements. Try to hold this position for 5 minutes.
- Try to not think about anything when performing this exercise.
After some time, slightly massage your face, neck, and décolletage.
As you can see, all of these exercises are very easy to perform and you can easily do them at your work place.
Bonus: How to quickly restore energy and mental balance:
This simple, but effective, exercise helps to quickly get rid of physical tiredness and mental exhaustion, as well as, release tension in your legs and feet after a long work day. It also prevents the appearance of varicose veins, improves the blood circulation in the body, and promotes relaxation of the heart muscles.
- Lie on your back as close to a wall as possible.
- Slightly bend your knees and place your legs up along the wall. Your hips should be parallel to the wall.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Try to clear your mind, relax, and focus on your breathing.
Stay at least 5 minutes in this position every day.
How often do you have muscle spasms? How do you usually fight them? Please share your secrets in the comments!
Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for Bright Side