Sports injuries and muscular ailments are almost always the main causes that many athletes can no longer perform their workouts. But often the athlete himself does not know which injuries actually exist. Is it an ordinary sore muscle or is it about one? muscle tightness in front? And what is the difference to a muscle strain? In the following, we would like to give you a brief overview of this important topic so that you will know exactly what to do in the event of pain in or after the training sessions.

What is a muscle hardening, muscle strain or sore muscles?

At a muscle tightness or myogelosis is a sustained tension in the affected muscles, often caused by long-lasting malpractice or abrupt movement. These movements can tense the musculature in different areas of the body in such a way that the musculature hurts with pressure or a movement sensitively. A muscle strain or distension occurs when the muscle fibers of the stressed muscle are greatly overstretched, resulting in very small injuries or tears in the muscle tissue. In particular, the sarcomeres, which are considered to be the smallest functional units of the musculature, are affected. Muscular soreness, on the other hand, is caused by unfamiliar or excessive physical stress, which later causes muscle pain. The soreness does not occur immediately, but is felt only several hours after the load or even the next day. The cause of a muscle soreness, according to the latest scientific findings, are fine cracks in the muscle fiber and not an excess concentration of lactic acid, as previously assumed.

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How does a muscle hardening happen?

Muscle hardening is caused by long-lasting tension in the muscles. Through the tension, the muscle fibers press on the blood vessels and thus cause circulatory disorders, which can then cause inflammation. This then manifests itself in stabbing pain, pressure sensitivity and various restrictions on movement. The cause of painful muscle hardening can have various causes. An overload or wrong movement in sports are often the ones responsible for muscle hardening. But even pinched nerves or a wrong shift of the hip, disc damage and a pelvic obliquity can very quickly cause a painful tension in the muscles. Especially shoes without inserts or poor cushioning can harden certain muscle parts. The muscles in the back, neck, shoulder, thigh and calf area are particularly affected by tension and muscle hardening. Psychosomatic disorders such as burnout or too much stress are often the trigger for headache and back pain, which in turn can cause muscle tension.

How can you proactively counteract muscle hardening?

Tensions are often classified as temporary complaints. But just an intensive relaxation therapy can prevent occurring muscle hardening. An intensive warm-up with stretching exercises, no overtraining and sufficient regeneration phases protect against occurring tension and thus prevent the painful muscle hardening. Especially the muscles in the back area should be intensively trained by specific strength training, so that certain bad postures can be compensated while sitting. Alternate motion sequences for sedentary activities and relaxation exercises help in the office to prevent long and monotonous postures. Massages, thermal therapies or hot baths should be used at the first tensions. The sooner the occurring muscle hardening is recognized and treated, the faster the annoying pain will disappear.

How is a muscle hardening treated?

For acute muscle hardening in the calf and thigh area as well as in the neck and back muscles, an intensive massage is recommended, which is the most important treatment after training sessions, especially for professional athletes. For strong muscle hardening, a combination of heat, water and massage is recommended. Especially suitable for fango packs, infrared light and stimulation current, so that the muscles can be sufficiently relaxed again. Also heat patches with vegetable or chemical active substances relax the tense muscles. Furthermore, certain medicines and ointments with the chemical substances diclofenac or ibuprofen for pain relief and the so-called muscle relaxants for the treatment of muscle hardening on. High-quality magnesium products can resolve calf cramps and stubborn muscle hardening over time. For painful muscle hardening, you should definitely put off with the training first, so that no aggravation of the occurred muscle injury may arise.


You should not underestimate muscle hardening, as they can lead to even worse muscle injuries if left untreated. Above all, you should know what the difference between muscle soreness, muscle hardening and a strain is. Accordingly, you can initiate the appropriate treatment method. This is the quickest way to get rid of your pain.

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