Muscle Tension, Persistent Tight Muscles, Aches, Pain Anxiety Symptoms
Muscle Tension, Persistent Tight Muscles, Aches, Pain Anxiety Symptoms description:
You feel like your muscles are always tight or strained, sometimes to the point of frequent pain, or even persistent and ongoing pain.
Some people might also find the pain so restricting and debilitating that it prevents physical activity, and sometimes to the point of becoming bed ridden. It's also common to experience pain or cramps in any of the body's muscles.
This symptom can also be experienced as muscle spasms, twitching, 'clamping up,' and persistent pain.
Sometimes the muscle tension pain can be so severe that pain medications are required.
Muscle tension, aches, and pains can persistently affect one area only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many areas over and over again.
Muscle tension, aches, and pains can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may feel muscle tension once and a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it all the time.
Muscle tension, aches, and pains may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.
Muscle tension, aches, and pains can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.
Muscle tension, aches, and pains can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.
Muscle tension, aches, and pains can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.
All of the above combinations and variations are common.
What causes the anxiety symptom muscle tension, aches, and pains?
Anxiety causes the body to produce the stress response (also known as the fight or flight response). The stress response (and stress in general) causes the body's muscles to tighten in order to make them more resilient to harm. This is helpful when in real danger, but can be problematic when the body experiences too frequent stress responses or when the body becomes overly stressed. Muscle tension, aches, and pains are common symptoms of elevated stress including the stress that anxiety causes.
How to get rid of anxiety-caused muscle tension, aches, and pains?
Because this symptom is just a symptom of elevated stress, it needn't be a cause for concern. It will subside when you reduce your stress and give your body ample time to calm down. As your body's stress returns to a more normal level, symptoms of stress subside, including muscle tension, aches, and pains. Therefore, this anxiety symptom needn't be a cause for concern.
Chapter 9 in the Recovery Support area of our website is our anxiety symptoms chapter. It contains detailed information about all anxiety symptoms, including what they are, why they occur, what you can do to eliminate them, and how many people experience them (the percentage of people who experience each anxiety symptom). Our anxiety symptoms chapter includes a more detailed description and explanation about the anxiety symptom muscle tension, aches, and pains.
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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated May 2015.