However, not all muscle pain comes from straining the muscles, sometimes it’s a sign of a disease or other condition in the body. Certain infections can make muscles ache. Lupus, a disorder of the connective tissue, can also cause you to feel muscle pain. Fibromyalgia is another condition that causes muscle tenderness and pain.
There is generalized muscle pain and pain in specific muscle locations. Generalized pain can come from electrolyte imbalances, a condition you may develop if you need more calcium or potassium. As noted before, generalized pain can also occur when you have an infection. Most of the time, when you feel tenderness at a specific location, it’s from a strained or pulled a muscle. In that case, there are specific steps to take to help relieve the pain.
Muscle pain in specific locations occurs when you strain a muscle. Strains can come from pushing your muscles beyond their limit, such as lifting more weight than the muscle can bear. Strains also occur if you don’t adequately prepare your muscles for exercise and loosen them with a warm up to increase the circulation. Strains come from tearing the muscle. Delayed onset muscle soreness, the pain you feel the next day after a vigorous workout, is also different from a muscle strain because it goes away in a day or two.
There’s also a tendency for people to call a muscle strain, a sprain. Sprains are actually injury to the ligaments instead of the muscle. In reality, there’s no such thing as a muscle sprain because of the fact that it’s an injury to the ligament. However, it may feel as though you have a painfully sore muscle.
Applications of cold packs are best for acute injuries, those that begin suddenly, often from a trauma such as a fall. You’ll notice pain and swelling with an acute injury as well as redness of the skin and tenderness. As soon as you feel pain in the muscle, it helps to apply ice to reduce any spelling and inflammation. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it on the affected area three to four times during the day for approximately 20 minutes in the first 24 hours.
However, if you have chronic muscle pain, heat is often the answer for the problem. Chronic injuries occur slowly. Sometimes you have pain and sometimes you don’t. The injuries are often from overusing the muscle or not allowing an acute injury to heal properly. If you have chronic pain, it’s best to soak the muscle in warm water or use a heating pad. If the injury shows signs of swelling or redness, do not apply heat.
You can avoid muscle pain by exercising within your body’s limits, warming up before exercise, discontinuing exercise if you’ve become fatigued and protecting the area where a previous icurredoccurred with the use of a support such as a bandage or other structural support.
New techniques and supports are now available that not only help you reduce strain on the injured muscles but also help in a number of other ways to encourage muscle healing and prevent further damage.