Muscle Stiffness


The muscle stiffness is when the muscles start to feel tight and find it more difficult to just move than you do mostly, mainly after rest. You will also face muscle pains, discomfort, and cramping. This muscle stiffness is different from spasticity and muscle rigidity. With these two symptoms, the muscle will stay stiff even when you are not moving at all.

Muscle stiffness will go away on its own usually. With some regular exercises and stretching, you might find some relief. In some instances, the muscle stiffness can be the sign of some more serious issues, mainly if you have some other symptoms going.

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The most common symptom of muscle stiffness is the unending pain you are going through. Even the muscle stiffness in legs is one sign that you must visit a doctor. Some of the other symptoms to look for are:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle spasms
  • Joint Pain
  • Aching and Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Pain worsening with movements
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Burning sensation in muscles


There are some common muscle stiffness causes, which are exercises, lifting weights, and head physical work. You can even feel some stiffness after high periods of inactivity, like getting out of bed in the morning or getting out of a chair after sitting for a long time. Strains and sprains are some common reasons for muscle stiffness. These sprains can cause redness, pain, swelling, and limited movement. Some of the other conditions causing stiff muscles are:

  • Infection
  • An insect sting or bite
  • Injury from extreme cold or heat
  • Medication or anesthesia used for surgery

Some symptoms can be easily treated at home. But if the sprain or strain is causing major pain or any added symptoms, then make an appointment with the physiotherapist. Stiff muscles followed by other symptoms are signs of underlying conditions.

When to See Physiotherapist

Once you are sure of the muscle stiffness reasons, be sure to give your doctor a call in case the muscle stiffness fails to go away, or you come across some other symptoms. Make sure to seek that medical attention if you experience muscle stiffness with other symptoms like:

  • Fever with neck stiffness
  • Extreme muscle weakness
  • Pain, redness, and swelling in areas where you are experiencing muscle stiffness
  • Muscle pain starting after taking the medicines

These symptoms are a sign that there might be one underlying condition you need to deal with.


There are certain conditions, which can increase the risk of muscle stiffness and pain. Some of those are mentioned below:

  • Arthritis:

Arthritis causes some chronic joint inflammation. Most people with arthritis will experience stiffness and joint pains.

  • Fibromyalgia:

It is one chronic illness causing all over musculoskeletal pain and fatigue

  • Tunnel syndrome:

These conditions will cause pinched nerves or severe nerve compression, which can be stated as tunnel syndrome.

How to Prevent

With some simple changes and proper muscle stiffness treatment, you can prevent muscle stiffness to a great extent and need not have to visit a physiotherapist for help.

  • Exercise regularly
  • Stretch up your muscles
  • Warm-up and down before and after exercising
  • Wearing proper footwear while exercising
  • Practicing good posture
  • Wearing warm cloth in cold weather
  • Ensuring that the work and home furniture gives you support and comfort
  • Avoid some long period of inactivity
Controlling your diet plans:

Staying hydrated and then eating a nutritious and varied diet is always important for a healthy lifestyle. It can further help in reducing the chances of muscle stiffness. Moreover, try to stay hydrated if you want to keep muscle stiffness at bay. A person must drink water daily, and you can try extra herbal teas or fruit slices to sparkling water for refreshing drinks.

Some research shows that there remains a link between muscle stiffness and dehydration. So, it is mandatory for the person to take some breaks in between hard work and stay hydrated while exercising.


In case muscle stiffness is one symptom of underlying conditions, then it is mandatory for the patient to have a direct chat with the doctor for a treatment plan. Doctors might prescribe some anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce discomfort and pain. Over-the-counter painkillers will work for pain relief, even though sometimes stronger medications are prescribed if needed.

In case the medicine is causing stiffness, the doctor might adjust the dose or even prescribe one alternative painkiller to kill the pain and discomfort. For the majority of the muscle stiffness, there are multiple therapeutic sessions in action. These therapies will cover the stiffness of your muscle from the core so that it doesn’t come back to bother you.

Stretching exercises:

Stretching is vital for keeping the muscles flexible and also to prevent stiffness. For decreasing muscle stiffness, you need to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. Proper stretching exercises, as mentioned by therapists, will keep a check on muscle stiffness well. There are separate stretching exercises designed for the neck, thing, and lower back regions.

Related Conditions

There are some related conditions to consider when it comes to muscle stiffness. Physiotherapists can work on some added neurological disorders while treating stiffness or muscle spasms. So, make sure to keep the number of a physiotherapist handy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What diseases can cause muscle stiffness?

SPS is one rarely acquainted neurological problem, which is characterized by progressive stiffness in muscle and repeated episodes of painful spasms. Other than that, muscle stiffness is a common phenomenon when your muscle gets to work overtime.

Can you consider muscle stiffness to be bad?

When the muscle starts feeling tight and difficult to move without pain, then you can feel the stiffness. It is mostly accompanied by cramping, pain, and discomfort. With simple therapies, you can get rid of the pain easily.

What vitamins are good for muscle stiffness?

Work on a diet that has vitamin B12, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D to help keep your muscle stiffness at bay.

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