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What is your favorite way to relieve muscle tension?


There's a lot of new talk around this in the PT world. Muscle tension is, in large part, related to stress levels! So, jamming a ball or other tool in a knot it may not always be the best long-term solution. In my opinion, I love to pair these tools with some breath work, body awareness, and movement re-education to target the cause. It truly is individualized per person, though. For some, hot showers, jacuzzis, steam rooms, going for a run, even taking an ice bath are things I've heard of!


In an effort to bring some awareness and appreciation to the uniqueness of the human body, what is your favorite way to ditch some tension?  There are no wrong answers!  πŸ˜Š




So glad you asked @Leada_M! I have two tips:


1. Hot tub. If possible, I try to take a hot tub when I'm experience muscle soreness. A very hot bath will also do, but I prefer a hot tub any day.


2. If no access to either, then I resort to this product which is a miracle worker. 

That's amazing @asparling1986 ! it sounds like your body really likes the heat - I don't blame ya. thanks for sharing that gel. I haven't seen it but I suspect I'm familiar with the ingredients. TY!


Hi Everyone,

Thank you for addressing this subject. 
Self awareness of where I carry my stress and how it manifest in my body was key for helping with tension and back pain. There are always quick fixes,  my favorite being shoving a tool in the knot or using a back roller. Long term solutions that have helped for me is meditation, breathing, and yoga targeted stretching. The main key for me is getting enough sleep, and just getting to sleep naturally. Recently I’ve used a sleeping  app that relaxes me right to sleep. 
Have a beautiful day!

@Bjimenez80 - just out of curiosity, which sleeping app do you use? 

I love that you mentioned sleep. I think its getting more awareness these days for sure. Thank you for sharing this! πŸ™‚ 


I deal with this frequently as I have fibro. 
1. Self Massage especially after a hot shower and if you have a shower head that has adjustable streams then utilize it. Apply your favorite muscle cream such as Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, or my favorite is Sombra when you get out and stretch really well. 
2. In between my workout days I do yoga and lots of stretching.
3. I do believe in massage. Not the rub lotion on you to be cute, but the deep muscle work massages. 
4. Meditation. Please know and understand what meditation really is. Your mind is not "clear" but you are taking the time to just sit calmly, breath slow, and observe your thoughts without judging them or acting on them. They are just thoughts and feelings and you are just observing what is going on within you. 

5. Due my fibro I do get PT (Physical Therapy) and have found it so helpful especially when you follow up on the exercise.
6. Lastly, do everything you can to manage stress in your life. Take control of what you can and let go of what you can't. I had to understand I could not accomplish as much as I wanted. I needed to prioritize my life and work toward my priorities and the other issues or even things I wanted that were not priorities I had to let go. It took a lot of stress off me. 

Thanks so much for addressing fibro, which I also have. We have unique issues with knots and pressure points and cramping others do not have. In addition to medications targeting my particular issues with this syndrome (like muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory, etc.), we have some things in common:

--Love hot baths;

--I keep a wand massager by my bed, which I will use sometimes even during the night if needed;

--I have a cognitive therapist and am trying to use the Calm app because I found that it does help reduce stress;

--I have faced a battle with sleep for years (insomnia is part of fibro) but feel that through many approaches I am improving -- do not give up trying to sleep!!!;

--Muscle creams do help, I like either Voltaren or SubZero gel;

--I have a machine massager for the neck, tennis balls, I will roll on them to also get out knots I cannot reach;

--Stress absolutely plays a role, so reduce as you can because it affects me from migraines to sleep;

--It is hard to move but as you improve a little do try to exercise a LITTLE and gradually grow that. NOT too much or it kicks back.

--Try to smile! πŸ™‚

Amazing!! How are you liking the Calm app? I've heard GREAT things in how it helps people relax before bed. Sleep quality can certainly impact your pain!

I tried it once before but didn’t give it enough of a chance, being a bit too impatient in my personality! Now when I do it, I find it quite effective-it even lowers my heart rate. Moreover they have topics on everything from improving sleep to calm at the office or happiness or chronic pain. I really like the variety!

Love that you mentioned stress management! It sounds like you have a great handle on this. I know that probably took some time to learn. Thanks for sharing @Lizzard !


Hot bath with epsom salt to relieve sore muscles.

Slow, mindful stretches once muscles are warm and receptive to the stretch.

Deep breathing, intentional and slow inhales and exhales.

Going for a walk or hike, spending time in nature.

A delicious dinner with good friends, meaningful conversation.

Ample rest to offset activity.

Aromatherapy (lavender and bergamot!), massage, acupuncture, chiro - lymphatic release.

HYDRATE! A cool sip of water is sometimes the most relaxing thing.