A muscle hardening or myogelosis is a hardening in the range of different muscle. It comes to painful hardening, which can be noticeable as knots or bulges in appearance. Only in case of severe pain and repeated hearing should a doctor be consulted. As a home remedy for muscle hardening recommend heat treatments such as sauna or hot baths. Even light massages are helpful as a treatment.

What is a muscle hardening?

Physiotherapy is especially useful for sports injuries. Muscle hardening is relaxed, lactate is broken down, strains and small muscle tears are detected and treated early.

A muscle hardening or myogelosis is a strong and usually painful tension of the muscles. It arises in most cases in excessive sports activities. Such overloading leads to a permanent tension of the muscles. However, muscle hardening can also be caused by the pinching of nerves or arthrosis.

Especially athletes know these or similar situations with certainty: After a strenuous long-distance run or marathon just before the finish, you suddenly feel a sharp stabbing pain in your thigh, lower leg or calf.

However, muscle hardening can also occur in the upper arms in the back or shoulder area. In many cases, the pain subsides after a short recovery time. But muscle hardening can also last for a long time and become a great pain.


But how does such a muscle hardening happen? A muscle hardening results from a long-lasting, strong tension of the muscle fibers. Through this tension, the muscle fibers strongly compress the fine capillaries in the musculature.

As a result, they are only supplied with blood to a limited extent and an inflammation develops which causes the musculature to become very tense. This in turn is the cause of this convulsive pain in the affected parts of the body. This is called a muscle hardening.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

Muscle hardening can be felt on the one hand. Affected feel some rock hard-looking muscles. In addition to these clearly palpable signs, numerous symptoms speak of muscle hardening. Pain in the area of ​​the hardened muscle can take different forms.

Thus, the pain can be felt as dull as well as biting. Hardened muscles in the area of ​​the jaw, for example, cause a dull feeling of pressure in some patients. Others report recurring, radiating pain.

Hardened muscles around the neck can cause discomfort in the back as well as headaches. Depending on where muscles are hardened, the symptoms can also be very diffuse and are not always clearly associated with the actually hardened muscle. For example, problems with the chest muscles can also manifest themselves in unclear abdominal discomfort and also cause digestive problems.

Precisely because the symptoms of muscle tension can be very different, a careful diagnosis is very important. Firstly, complaints that come from hardened muscles, without effective treatment in the fewest cases by itself better. The stressed muscles hardens more and more and thus provides for ever-increasing complaints. On the other hand, it must be ruled out promptly, especially if the symptoms persist, that the symptoms are caused by another organic disease.


If muscle hardening lasts several days despite the home remedies and preventative measures mentioned below, a doctor should definitely be consulted because it could also be a nervous illness.

After a medical examination, the relaxation and relaxation of the muscles can be promoted with anti-inflammatory drugs or magnesium supplements. If the doctor can find no other medical cause, the emergence of a muscle hardening is usually due to an excessive or one-sided training.

In this case, the training program should be thoroughly analyzed to determine the cause of muscle overstress. Thereafter, the training must be changed so that the muscles are evenly loaded and a renewed muscle hardening is avoided.


Due to the hardening of the muscles, those affected primarily suffer from very strong and above all stinging pains. This pain can significantly reduce and limit the quality of life of those affected. It also comes to restrictions in everyday life, with the implementation of certain work or sports through the muscle hardening is no longer readily possible.

The exercise of the profession may be limited by the muscle hardening. Furthermore, resting pain during the night can lead to considerable sleep disturbances and thus to depression or general irritability of the patient. Furthermore, movement restrictions also occur. The exact limitations and complications also depend heavily on the muscle involved in muscle hardening.

Especially with a further heavy load it can come to the muscle hardening to significant pain and other consequential damage. For permanent pain, a doctor should definitely be consulted for this reason. The treatment of muscle hardening is usually done with the help of massages or by heat treatments.

There are no further complications or complaints and in most cases a positive course of the disease occurs. The life expectancy of the patient is usually not limited or reduced by the muscle hardening.

When should you go to the doctor?

Muscle hardening does not always have to be medically treated. In a large number of cases, those affected can achieve relief without the help of a doctor. A sufficient supply of heat and the consumption of sufficient non-alcoholic liquids to improve the inconvenience. The affected person should protect his organism as a whole and not subject it to renewed heavy burdens.

Miscarriage and a crooked posture should also be avoided. The areas in which there is a muscle hardening, can be loosened up with your fingers or other aids by circular movements. In addition, the practice of sports is recommended, which contribute to a better supply of muscle fibers and a balance through the general movement sequences. By swimming, for example, alleviation and freedom from complaints can be achieved.

If the muscle hardening persists or increases despite all efforts, a doctor should be consulted. If the person concerned does not succeed in achieving a significant improvement in his or her health within a few days, or if further complaints arise, he needs help. It can cause headaches, sleep disturbances and permanent pelvic or shoulder dislocation that needs to be treated. In particular, damage to the skeletal system can lead to a manifestation of impairments that have lifelong consequences.

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Treatment & Therapy

The most suitable method to counteract an already existing muscle hardening is a heat treatment and sauna. Warm or hot baths, warm envelopes or the deliberate laying of a hot water bottle on the cramped areas are highly recommended. Heat promotes blood circulation and brings strong tension to subside.

A very helpful measure against muscle hardening is also a massage of the hardened muscles. During an existing muscle hardening, the usual training amount should be reduced in any case. Sport activities, despite muscle hardening, can worsen the condition and, in the worst case, further damage the muscle.

Outlook & Forecast

A muscle hardening provides a good prognosis. The suffering can be treated by massages, protection and specific physiotherapy. Often the muscle hardening dissolves by itself. Until then, rest and avoid strenuous activities in order not to endanger recovery. The quality of life is limited by the muscle hardening, however, the patients can continue to pursue their usual everyday life, without major restrictions are expected. Even sports activities do not have to be completely adjusted, as long as sufficient rest periods are taken into account.

Worse is the prognosis for recurring muscle hardening. Occasionally there is a serious muscle disease, which must be treated first. Decisive for the prognosis is the removal of the causes of muscle hardening. Medication and a change in lifestyle contribute to a rapid resolution of muscle hardening. Acute pain is alleviated by means of pain therapy, trigger point therapy or other typical treatments. The goal of the therapy is to stimulate the blood circulation and to dissolve the hardening of the muscles. The exact prognosis is the general practitioner or sports physician with regard to the severity of muscle hardening. The triggers must also be included in the prognosis.


The benefits of a massage are in: the promotion of blood circulation, relaxation of the muscles, in pain relief and in mental relaxation.

But it does not have to come first to a pronounced muscle hardening. There are some helpful tips to prevent muscle hardening. Even if it's still cold outside, athletes should always drink enough fluids. Sometimes a muscle hardening also occurs due to a magnesium deficiency in the body. Therefore, it is recommended to take daily a dissolved in water magnesium tablet.

Even the right warm-up training before any physical activity counteracts a muscle hardening, because it stimulates the muscle activity. Especially when a marathon or other major sports tournament is due, you should warm up enough and stretch your muscles.

Even wearing the right clothes prevents muscle hardening. If the body sweats a lot during strenuous exercise, the clothing should not be too airy, because sweating causes the body to cool down very quickly. This damages the muscles. Therefore, experts recommend warmer clothing, as the blood circulation is promoted by the heat.


In the case of muscle hardening, in most cases only a few and even very limited measures of direct follow-up care are available to the person concerned, whereby first and foremost a quick and, above all, a very early diagnosis of this disease is necessary. Therefore, the person concerned should ideally consult a doctor at the first sign and symptoms of the condition to prevent further complications and discomfort.

In most cases, patients need bed rest, and the affected muscles should be spared. It is not recommended to do strenuous or physical activities so as not to unnecessarily burden the body. In many cases, those affected depend on the help and support of their own family. Loving conversations can have a positive effect on the mental state of the person affected.

Furthermore, the measures of physiotherapy and physiotherapy are often necessary. Many of the exercises can be repeated in one's own home, which significantly increases the mobility of the affected person. The muscle hardening does not reduce the life expectancy of the person concerned and can usually be treated relatively well again.

You can do that yourself

In the case of muscle hardening, it is first of all important to reduce or discontinue sports activities. To quickly relax the affected muscle, short stretching exercises are recommended. However, this should never go to the pain threshold, as it may cause serious damage to the tissue. Then relaxation is appropriate. Any kind of stress can worsen the condition or slow down the healing process.

A 15-minute bath with warm water relaxes the muscles quickly. Warming envelopes from the pharmacy also loosen up the muscle thoroughly. Further heat treatments are sauna sessions and red light irradiation. Depending on the weather, sun exposure can also relieve the pain. Another way to release the tension is with local massages on the muscles. In addition, anti-inflammatory ointments for pain relief can be gently massaged. This is especially recommended in the evening, just before going to bed.

It is important to absorb enough fluid during the entire self-treatment to allow the tension to subside. For long-term success against muscle hardening, however, a balanced magnesium balance in the body is the best treatment and preventive measure. For this purpose, magnesium preparations and foods with a particularly high magnesium content are ideally suited.

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