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Muscle pain

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Muscles are a necessary part of the body for every activity that the body can perform. When muscles are asked to perform too readily, too heavily, or for too long muscles responds with pain. Strains and sprains are the most common forms of muscle pain and are associated with the overworking of muscles.

Muscle pain is very common and can occur after nearly any activity and can occur in any part of the body. The most common form of muscle pain is related to the back, legs, and neck and shoulder region. Muscle pain can range from mildly annoying to so severe that the patient can not find relief or comfort until the muscle strain or sprain heals.

MUSCLE PAIN SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

A muscle sprain involves the tearing or stretching of the ligaments beyond their normal capacity. A muscle strain is associated with the tearing or excessive stretching of the muscle and can be equally as painful.

In most cases, over the counter products and self care are all that are required to care for muscle pain related to basic muscle injury. Some muscle injuries are severe enough to require a physician’s care and medical expertise.

Symptoms of muscle injury and muscle pain obviously involve pain, however it is not uncommon for the affected area to swell, redden and become bruised or discolored. All symptoms of muscle injury and muscle pain can range from mild to severe.
Muscle pain
Image: Muscle Pain

MUSCLE PAIN CAUSES

Muscle pain is common and is most frequently caused by either the overuse of the muscles especially when accompanied by an ineffective warming up and stretching before significant activity. Injury from accidents and sports accidents are the second most common cause of muscle pain. Muscle pain and muscle injury can also be caused by repetitive motion tasks. Muscles can flare up when asked to perform a task in the same manner with the same amount of exertion for long periods of time.

MUSCLE PAIN RISK FACTOR

Risk factors for muscle include poor conditioning, fatigue, poor technique or improper use, and improper stretching or warm up prior to strenuous activity. People who do not regular exercise or ask much from their muscle are considered in “poor condition,” which simply means that the muscle may react with pain, inflammation, and swelling upon being asked to perform even reasonable amounts of significant exertion. When muscles become tired or fatigued they often respond with pain, especially if the patient does not stop the performance or activity. Even poor posture can lead to muscle pain and injury, as well as other forms of poor technique when utilizing the muscles for an extended period of time or under high exertion levels.

MUSCLE PAIN DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis of muscle pain is usually done based on patient complaints. Often patients can determine the difference between muscle pain and serious injury. However, serious cases may require a physician’s examination as well as an x-ray or other imaging technique in order to rule out possible other causes for the discomfort.

MUSCLE PAIN TREATMENT

In most cases, treatment can be performed by a patient without any medical assistance. Most muscle injuries and muscle pain incidents will heal simply by reducing the workload associated with that muscle. Rest, ice, and gentle stretching are usually enough to encourage a muscle strain to heal. Some more serious cases may require over the counter or prescription pain medications as well as some sort of short term immobilization and physical therapy. Some muscles are stubborn and can cause pain from an injury for months. Most cases that are severe enough to require medical attention involve muscle pain, as well as ligament and tendon injury, which can contribute to muscle pain as well.

The P.R.I.C.E. treatment is very effective for muscle pain and muscle injury. The P.R.I.C.E. treatment involves Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, which allows the muscle and the surrounding tissue to heal properly. Muscle pain can be avoided with careful protection and the patient’s ability to properly stretch and prepare the muscles for strenuous use.
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