Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is a very common condition that can occur to anyone, any time. This kind of pain can occur in any part of the body as muscle tissues are practically in the entire body. Stress, tension or strenuous physical activity is among the common causes of myalgia. There are a number of other conditions or injuries that can stress the muscles and cause pain. Though we generally ignore minor pain in the muscles, unattended pain can cause complications and can cause tears or shears in the muscles and impair functioning of the body even further.
Causes of Muscle Pain
- Stressed muscles in one or more parts of the body
- Overusing muscles during a physical activity
- A physically demanding job or exercise that may injure a muscle or group of muscles
- Infectious diseases like influenza, polio, or bacterial infections
- Autoimmune disorders including lupus, dermatomyositis, and polymyositis
- Some medications or drugs, including as statins, ACE inhibitors, or cocaine may also trigger myalgia.
- Thyroid problems, like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Hypokalemia or potassium deficiency
Precautions One Should Take Against Muscle Pain
There are a number of precautions one can take on a regular basis to reduce pain in the muscles.
- One should take proper rest while suffering from muscle pain. Resting the muscles prevents exertion and aids the body in treating the pain
- Eating calcium and protein rich foods helps the muscle re-grow and strengthen themselves, thus reducing the chances of muscle pain
- Keeping the body in proper posture to prevent sprains and also maintaining proper gait
Treatment of Muscle Pain At Home
Treating muscle pain is not a complex method but requires a general examination of the kind of pain that affects the muscles, and region of the body that is experiencing pain.
- Topical Analgesics – Topical analgesics such as lotions, creams, and ointments can penetrate into the skin easily and help relive muscle ache in an instant.
- Electrotherapy – Electrotherapy aids in bone growth and increasing the strength of the muscles. It also enables the muscles to bear pain, stress, and strain.
- Cryotherapy - Cryotherapy or cold therapy uses the absence of heat to help in treating muscles. It helps alleviate pain and reduce inflammation and also increases the circulation of blood to the muscles.
- Aromatherapy - Aromatherapy in the form of essential oils can be used to treat muscle aches and pains. Organic oils contain a number of essential ingredients that can be absorbed easily into the muscles and can swiftly alleviate pain.
- Compression Therapy – Compression therapy is proven to increase blood circulation and help in reducing pain. The gentle compression provided by compression bandages, wraps, and systems, can allow for greater reduction of pain and inflammation.
- Exercise and Yoga – Exercise therapy can be a great way to train one’s muscle and increase their tensile strength and density. They help in preventing injuries to the muscles. Yoga also helps in relaxing the muscles.
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Frequently asked questions
Myalgia or muscle pain is a common complaint that is most commonly related to overuse or muscle injury from unaccustomed exercise or work.
Myalgia may result from infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, parasitosis, joint pain (arthralgia), fever, or general ill feeling (malaise).
Commonly muscle pain is due to tension, stress, overuse and minor injuries. Other causes may include:
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Influenza (flu)
- Medications, especially the cholesterol medications known as statins
- Muscle cramp
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sprains and strains, etc.
Muscle pains cause discomfort which can be reduced by undertaking the following steps:
- Resting the area that hurts.
- Taking an OTC pain reliever
- Applying an ice pack over the affected area to reduce pain and inflammation. Practicing stress-relieving activities and exercises such as yoga and meditation to relieve tension
Some general guidelines to prevent muscle pains:
- Stretching muscles before any physical activity and after workouts.
- Incorporatig a warm-up and a cooldown routine into all of your exercise sessions.
- Staying hydrated
- Regular exercise regime to help promote optimal muscle tone.
- Get up and stretch regularly if you sit at a desk most of the time or in an environment that puts you at risk for muscle strain or tension.