In a healthy person muscles work in a coordinated manor to help produce simple to surreal movements. With overuse and injury those same muscles loose their normal coordination and switch to a protective role. Those muscles will tighten or spasm to protect itself or nearby joint from any movements that might cause more movement.
Its a good strategy, but its effects are often more than necessary and can affect daily activities. Specialized muscle release techniques use a combination of compression and stretch to release tension and reset the sensors in those muscles. Adding movement to a muscle release helps restore the muscles normal function through its entire function range and not just in the one resting position where its typically treated.
What are the long term effects of a muscle in spasm?
The initial effects of a tight muscle are pain, soreness and often a loss of motion or strength. Overtime a muscle in spasm can begin to degrade at a cellular level since blood flow is reduce and toxins can accumulate. Its related joints are also stressed from the prolonged pull of a tight muscle which can then effect other muscles surrounding that joint.
Beyond this spreading effect, muscles that are tight or in spasm don’t fire effectively leading to a decrease in the efficiency or simple tasks like walking or lifting. This too can eventually lead to further injury since talking hundreds of slightly painful steps can certainly add up to a larger problem.