Tightness and Tension – Where they come from?

By Chi Yang

Where do the feelings of tightness and tension come from?

Long hours working with the same posture or repeating the same action over and over again.

Most people at some time in their lives, experience neck and shoulder soreness, stiff muscles, or Lower back pain. Do these sound familiar to you?
Today I am going to show you that there are some physical changes in your muscles that take place when you work long days, or constantly stay in some position for too long.
Eventually your muscles get used to the discomfort, and your muscles continue to endure, but sooner or later the tightness and tension catches up with you, knots get bigger, and you get that feeling of a “ stiff neck” or ”frozen shoulder ”.

 Take a look at the pictures below, showing examples from different types of jobs, and what muscles get tight or tensed. You might ask “are “tight” and “tensed” different?” Yes they are different.


Imagine two muscles opposite each other, both pulling against each other. When you use one muscle too much, it becomes tight (shorter), and pulls on the muscle opposite to it, which causes tension on the opposite muscle. Usually discomfort is felt in the tensed muscle, because it is being stretched and torn, as if it is losing a battle of tug of war. This is when you get knots.
An experienced therapist can feel and see which muscles are tight, and which muscles are tensed.


Tight muscles are usually the main muscles that you use the most. Using these muscles for long hours or heavy physical work causes them to reach endurance limit, causing hundreds of small tears in the muscle. When those tears heal, the muscle becomes stronger, but also tighter.
As an example, take a look at a “body builder with big biceps, look at how their arms always curve inwards toward their body, giving that “tough man” posture. This is a typical example of muscle tightness in the biceps. Typically these people would get sore on their triceps, and back of shoulder (the opposite of the biceps).


Tensed muscles are often where most people suffer discomfort. Sometimes the pain is so bad that you can barely walk, bend over or stand up without pain. They are the muscles that we usually use for holding our self in place, which means when you are bending over and carrying stuff, these muscles balance your body weight against gravity and against the muscles that are carrying an object. Don’t underestimate the energy and strength these muscles use, they are working hard to keep you balanced.


Tight and tensed muscles both need to be treated equally to help our body get back to the stage of harmony and balance. I am here to help remove pain and suffering from your life. Sometimes muscle pain can’t be avoided because of work, but sometimes the worst pain is not from what you do, but from what you can’t do.
Let me look after your health, so that you can do more, and experience less pain.
Call today and make a booking.   ~Chi Yang