Muscle pain is widespread type of pain that may affect more than one muscle as well as soft tissues that surround muscles. Pain can also affect connective tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and fascias. Muscle pain is most common in the back, neck, and shoulder area, but it can affect other body parts as well. Sometimes even headache may be observed, that is associated with muscle tension and sensitivity.
Muscle pain is mostly caused by overload, tension, or trauma such as strain, bruise, or tear. Pain usually affects certain muscle groups in certain body parts, and starts during the load or after the load. Usually it is clear which activity has caused muscle pain.
Muscle pain may be a sign of general body illness, for example, of certain viral infections as well as of malnutrition problems, which affect connective tissues of whole body.
The most common reasons of muscle pain are:
- tension or stress;
- overload: too intensive, frequent or incorrect usage of muscles;
- bruise or other injury;
- incorrect posture;
- certain medications;
- infections and inflammations;
- autoimmune diseases and rheumatoid diseases.
The stretched muscle-related pain can be caused by intramuscular injection physical activities, or serious muscle injury. In cases of traumatic muscle injuries pain appears immediately and develops gradually. Pain that is caused by physical activities appears during the load and develops when the load continues. After rest pain usually disappears, but the sensitivity may persist. Cause of trauma and injury-related pain may be a damage of ligaments or tendons. Injuries can range from microscopic damages to severe ruptures.
Talking about muscle pain, there is the notion of muscle pain syndrome, which manifests itself as the pain of muscles and soft issues with cinched muscle bundles or so called trigger points, which are very painful. Trigger points are caused by muscle injuries, physical overload, or other indirect factors such as arthritis, incorrect postures, skeletal asymmetry, diseases of internal organs, and emotional factors.
Muscle cramps are painful and involuntary muscle contractions, which are most common in legs. Muscle cramps are caused by physical overload, low environmental temperature, and nervousness. Muscle cramps are usually reversible. They tend to appear and disappear, but they can also be symptoms of serious diseases or pathologies of central nervous system. Muscle spasms and stiffness are different conditions, which are usually mild. Spasms are contractions of muscles that surround wounded or inflamed structures, which can cause stiffness or discomfort during movement of muscles.
In order to avoid muscle pain and traumas, much attention should be paid to training. After a short warm-up, intensity of physical load should be increased gradually, step by step. Physical work or sports training should be done without rapid and sudden movements. It is also recommended to avoid extreme changes in temperature as well as rapid cooling and draft.
Muscle pain should be cured in first 48 – 72 hours, using:
- Pain relief gel or patch;
- Pain relief ointments;
- Pain relief medications;