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About your muscles – dangers of chronic muscle tension.

Muscles are attached to bones, and move the bones only by contracting. This is why muscles are arranged in pairs. Muscle tissue is made up of a multitude of tiny fibers, shaped like threads. It is the contractile action of these fibers that causes a muscle to shorten, and thus move the bone to which the muscle is attached.
Unfortunately, muscular tension is not always under control. When you are driving, typing, viewing a computer screen for hours, the muscles of your back, neck and shoulders may tend to tighten up, even if you do not want them to tighten up.
Adequate blood supply is necessary for all living tissue. When a muscle is in a relaxed condition, its muscle fibers are spaced relatively far apart. there is plenty of room for blood to circulate amongst the cells of the fibers. When contracted, the muscle fibers are more densely spaced, leaving less room for blood to circulate. veins and arteries, as well as nerves, are constricted. Less oxygen and nutrients enter the muscle tissue, and waste products accumulate as less can be carried away by the decreased blood flow.
Maintaining even a partial state of contraction over a long period of time can have numerous negative effects. The build up of waste products especially lactic acid, can cause pain and a tendency to cramp.
A more serious problem is that a chronic state of contraction can make the muscle fibers permanently shorten, reducing the range of motion that is possible without tearing the the muscle fiber. This leads to torn muscles. Once the fibers of a muscle have been torn, they do not always grow back as normal fiber. Instead, they can be replaced by a scar tissue which does not relax and contract as does normal muscle fiber.

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