Muscle Tension Definition | Back Pain and Neck Pain Medical Glossary

Muscle Tension Definition

Muscle tension refers to the condition in which muscles of the body remain semi-contracted for an extended period. Muscle tension is typically caused by the physiological effects of stress and can lead to episodes of back pain.

Stress may change the body's nervous system by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and nerves in the back. This process causes a decrease in oxygen and a buildup of biochemical waste products in the muscles, resulting in muscle tension, spasm, and back pain.

Muscle tension is typically treated using nonsurgical options to relax the muscles including exercise, water therapy, and heat therapy.