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Muscles and Nerves and The Splinting Reflex Action

Once a muscle becomes tight, its tendency is not to relax, but to become even tighter. This is why it is referred as “Splinting reflex”. During any muscle injury or pain, the splinting reflex acts to stiffen the muscle and prevent it from moving.
Muscle pain, rather than being due to injury, is likely to be caused by shortening of the back muscles due to chronic tension. When splinting reflex kicks in, the muscle tightens even further, clamping down on its blood vessels and nerves, and the pain increases. The greater the pain, the tighter the muscle clamps down. The tighter it gets, the more you hurt. So, relax and lengthen the muscles with the technique like hot water therapy.
Chronically contracted muscles can also constrict the nerves that run through them. Sometimes a muscle can develop a hard sensitive spot that may range from the size of pinhead to that of thumbnail. These spots in addition to being painful can cause what is called “referred pain” in unrelated parts of the body. When this happens, the sensitive spot is called “trigger point”. Tension headache is an example of above scenario. Fortunately, when these trigger points are located, massaged, exercised and stretched, the headache will diminish as well.

Bones are other main component of the musculoskeletal system. They are connected to muscles by strands of tissue called tendons. When muscles are chronically tight, the points at which the tendon attaches to both the muscle and the bone carry extra stress. This often causes pain, even if the muscle fiber has not been torn.
Joints are the parts of the body that allow bones to remain connected to each other without touching. The parts of the bones that are nearly touching are covered with a bone-like but softer tissue called cartilage. When the cells in the joint capsule are jammed by violent motion, these cells become inflamed.
The buoyancy provided by warm water in a bath or hot tub will decrease the pressure of gravity on a weak or injured joint, allowing the joint to be stimulated more gently and with less pain.

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