Muscle Aches – everything you need to knowMay 11, 2021 2021-10-21 9:56
Muscle Aches – everything you need to know
Muscle Aches - everything you need to know
Last updated date : August 17, 2021
Table of Contents
Muscle Aches – Everything you need to Know
- What are Muscle Aches?
- What are the types of muscle pain?
- Muscle pain related to muscle activity
- Activity that can cause delayed onset muscle soreness
- Other conditions that may cause pain related to muscle activity
- Diagnosing muscle aches
- When should you see a doctor?
- Prevention and treatment for muscle aches
- Muscle aches unrelated to muscle activity
- Do muscle ache due to mental illness?
- Are your physical pains related to your mental health?
- Symptoms of depression in its physical form
- Treatment for muscle ache due to psychological illness
What are Muscle Aches?
With over 600 muscles in our body, muscle pain is hard to avoid. Muscle aches are extremely common among every age group. These can involve more than one muscle and can happen due to various reasons.
Muscle pains are often related to tension, overuse, or physical injury. Most of the time, the cause of the pain is obvious. The pain may start during, or after the straining. Most muscle pains and aches are physical. However, some mental health issues may show up as physical pains too.
What are the types of muscle pain?
There are two types of muscle pain. This is on the fact if the pain is related to muscle activity or not.
- Muscle pain related to muscle activity
These pains come during or shortly after physical activity. It is commonly a soreness, cramps, or stiffness. This is more common, if an individual starts a new exercise program, changes their exercise routine, or increases the intensity of their workout.
- Muscle pain unrelated to muscle activity
When the pain occurs without a physical strain it falls under this category. It could be due to a virus, mental health condition, or other reasons, which may require a doctor’s attention.
Muscle pain related to muscle activity
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is sore muscles after physical activity. This situation occurs if muscles are worked harder than supposed to and if the wrong posture is used. This is due to the damage that happens to the muscle fibers, leaving muscles sore and stiff.
Even if you are a pro at exercising, you may be a victim of this. Muscles will get used to them when the foreign physical demands persist. Soreness will decrease. Athletes and other professionals tend to change their exercise routine often, so their muscles will be challenged and develop strength.
However, the moderate muscle soreness and the pain due to an injury are two very different things.
Activities that can cause Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
- Too much pressure applied on muscles
- Working muscles harder than usual
- Using the wrong posture
- If the workout routine changed
- Pulling muscles
- Failing to warm up or stretch before exercise
Other conditions that may cause pain related to muscle activity
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)
Myofascial Pain Syndrome is the fancy name used to describe muscle pain. This refers to the inflammation of bodily tissues. This is a chronic condition that may involve a single muscle or a muscle group. There may be situations where the place one feels the pain, however, is not where the myofascial pain generator is located. It is called referred pain.
MPS may develop due to repetitive motion, lack of motion, or injury caused to muscle fibers. Deep, aching pain in muscles, that persists or worsens over time may be a sign of this syndrome.
This is diagnosed by identifying the trigger points that cause pain. It can be treated with medications for pain, sleep, or depression, and muscle spasm. Treatment also includes,
- Physical therapy
- Myofascial release therapy
- Massage therapy
- Trigger point injection
Serious cases may require all these methods be used.
Diagnosing muscle aches
Muscle aches may have different causes that are unique to them. Your health care provider will assess your symptom history and may also conduct physical examinations. Here are some of the questions they might ask you.
- Where do you feel the pain?
- When does the pain start and stop?
- Can you think of a physical activity that may have started this pain?
- For how long have you had this pain?
- Is there anything that makes the pain better or worse?
If your doctor finds it difficult to recognize your issue, they may order blood tests, CT scans, bone scans, or MRIs to determine underlying issues.
When should you see a doctor?
There are times that muscle pains are more harmful than we would imagine. Home treatment may not work and the pain may consist due to an underlying cause. In these cases, you should see a doctor for the below reasons.
- Severe muscle pain without a cause
- Pain that doesn’t lessen with treatment
- Muscle pain with a rash
- Muscle pain with an insect bite
- Pain that occurs after a change of medication
- Elevated temperature with the pain
- Reduction of Urine volume
- Difficulty swallowing
- Vomiting. High fever.
- Trouble breathing and dizziness
- Weak muscles
- Stiff neck
- Inability to move the affected area
Prevention and treatment for muscle aches
Nothing has been proven 100% effective when it comes to treating muscle pain. Below practices are usually followed by and advised to be followed by medical professionals to ease the pain as a result.
- Stretching before engaging in physical activity.
- In the event of starting a new activity, take it easy until your body adapts.
- Rest the area where you feel the pain. Avoid high-impact activity until the pain fades.
- Take an over-the-counter pain relief medicine
- Apply ice to the inflamed area if necessary
- If the pain remains after three days of using ice, apply heat.
- Gently stretch the muscles that pain.
- Engage in stress-relieving activities such as yoga and medication to relieve tension.
- Stay hydrated, especially on days you’re active
- Stretch regularly
Muscle aches unrelated to muscle activity
In some instances, muscle pain occurs without the reason for physical activity. The pain and strain on your muscles after a good workout may give you a feeling of satisfaction. However, the same intense pain, without any physical activity can be alarming.
Your muscles can be sore for a number of other reasons, that does not include a physical activity. These reasons differ in severity and cause.
Do muscles ache due to mental illness?
If you have been suffering from severe stress, anxiety, and depression for the past few days, sudden muscle aches and pains should be expected. For instance, depression and mental illness can ghost a person in its physical appearance too. It could also be an unrelated muscle pain due to a different underlying issue. The two issues could easily be linked, in the case these aches are unexplained. Constant stress and anxiety may leave you suffering for long, with aches.
Some of the symptoms include,
- Muscle soreness and tenderness
- Stomach pain
- appetite issues
- sleep disorders
- Body pain
- Eye problems
Are your physical pains related to your mental health?
It is required to meet one’s health care provider to determine the relation of their physical muscle ache symptoms to their mental health. They will run tests or blood work to determine the root cause of your physical restlessness.
If your physical health reports determine no illness, then your mental health will be evaluated. This will determine whether you are under any mental stress, that may cause your muscle aches.
This can also be a way of your body requesting you to pay attention to your mental health. Being physically uneasy and thus looking for a route cause may lead you to a lot more issues you need help for.
Symptoms of depression in its physical form.
- Back pain and Body aches – Chronic body and muscle aches are common when it comes to depression.
- Headaches – According to studies, migraine and depression are strongly linked to each other. People with depressive symptoms are more likely to get frequent headaches.
- Digestion issues – Depression takes away your appetite easily. Some people may binge eat. Consuming lots of unhealthy food may lead a depressed person to issues such as diabetes. Individuals that lose appetite end up losing an unhealthy amount of weight. Depression can also cause an upset stomach, digestion issues, and other complications.
- Heart diseases – A patient with depression that is admitted to a hospital due to a heart condition is more likely to have a severe heart attack or stroke in the next year. Depression can harm our heart by affecting the level of our stress hormones, blood pressure, and thus heart rate.
- Fatigue – Those who are depressed will feel constantly exhausted. They don’t feel like engaging in activities, because of the level of fatigue they feel. Routinely, keeps ones with depression to themselves.
Below are some of the illnesses that cause muscle pain that is unrelated to physical activity.
Flu or a cold
Flu such as InfluenzaA viral infection that attacks your respiratory system is severe enough to leave people’s muscles aching and in pain. One may feel like they just ran a marathon, even though they’ve been in bed all day. Cold or flu are both viral infections that result in inflammation. They can be especially painful in your throat, chest, and lungs. The muscle ache you may feel in your body is a result of it trying hard to fight the infection.
Good rest, drinking plenty of water, consuming balanced meals, and keeping up with the medication can help relieve your symptoms and aches.
This is a chronic condition that is linked with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. Researchers believe Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations. This can also cause depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.
Symptoms will take place after events such as trauma, surgery, infection, or stress. Symptoms could also grow with time, with no alarming triggers. Studies show that this condition is more common among women than men.
There is no cure, but the symptoms can be controlled. Widespread pain, fatigue, or cognitive difficulties can be helped with a variety of medications and exercise. Contact your health care provider for a diagnosis and treatment, if you have these symptoms.
Fibromyalgia may take place due to genetics. It tends to run in families. Infections as well as some illnesses may become a risk factor.
Dehydration and lack of sleep
The body cannot function healthily without water, which is essential. Without the necessary intake of water, your body may go into several discomforting stages. Many important processes such as breathing and digestion will not be able to function properly, and as a result of this shortcoming, you may feel bodily pain.
An average person should consume at least 3 liters of water per day. Illnesses such as diarrhea may also dehydrate you. In the case you feel like you’re dehydrated, though you’ve consumed enough water, you’re advised to contact your doctor right away.
Sleep is also essential to maintain psychological balance and strength. Therefore, an average person should sleep at least 6 to 8 hours a day. If your brain isn’t rested, and if your body tissues are tired, they may not be alert and strong enough to keep you fit. These complications may lead to physical pain.
In case you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep, try these simple techniques.
- Consuming a hot beverage
- don’t go to sleep hungry
- Listening to music
- Prescribed medication, in serious cases
Arthritis happens due to the inflammation of joints. This can be caused by an infection on the joints, cartilage breaking down, or autoimmune conditions.
This condition can create pain on your joints, making movement extremely difficult.
Treatment for muscle ache due to psychological illness
Since these conditions take place due to psychological mishaps, the treatments are more like what is used on depressed individuals.
- Medication and exercise – those who experience muscle pain and anxiety can take one medication for both conditions.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – this is a common treatment method used to treat anxiety disorder as well as chronic pain conditions.
- Relaxation techniques – Helping people develop coping mechanisms and stress relieving mechanisms. These include breathing techniques, counting techniques, muscle relaxation, and more.
- Alternative treatment – Acupuncture, Yoga, massages, and other physical methods to ease the pain and tension.
- Exercise – for strengthened muscles and reduced stiffness. exercise improves flexibility and works as a great boost of self-esteem. A new exercise regimen should be accepted by the doctors.
- Sleep – a good night’s sleep is a great way to lessen anxiety and chronic pain. The rest your brain and body deserve keeps you strong and fresh. Consistent sleep time and a peaceful environment to sleep in will soothe your mentality.