Did you put too much strain on your muscles during your last mountain trip and wake up with leg pain? Did you adopt a strange position last night and wake up with back pain? These pains are probably muscular!
If you are experiencing muscle pain, make an appointment for a physiotherapy consultation.
What is muscle pain?
Back, arm, leg, thigh… muscle pain or myalgia can affect any part of the body.
Whether it’s back pain, shoulder pain or leg pain, we tend to link our pain to our muscles. And often with good reason. Muscle pain or myalgia, in medical jargon, can come in many forms. Stiffness, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, muscle strains or sprains (knee sprain, ankle sprain, wrist sprain) are some of them.
The location, intensity and frequency of muscle pain depend on the individual. For some people, it affects only some specific parts of the body. Other people experience overall pain.
How to get rid of muscle pain? Our 5 tips for relief
Did you put your body through a strenuous workout and feel like you’ve been hit by a train? Are your remote work days causing you muscle aches and pains? Here are four tips to help ease the pain.
- Give your body a break. Limit your physical activity, but don’t stop it completely.
- Apply heat (for 15 minutes) or ice (for 7-10 minutes), or a combination of both. Go with what gives you the most relief!
- Massage and/or stretch the painful limb(s), if it helps. If not, stop.
- Gradually resume your activities, adopting good habits. Don’t put too much pressure on your body, listen to yourself.
- If your pain is related to a repetitive motion or poor posture at work or in a physical activity, get help from a health professional. A few sessions of physiotherapy could be enough to help you avoid another injury.
If your pain persists after several days, make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to treat your injury, if there is one.
Our 5 tips to prevent muscle pain
Preventing muscle pain is not always possible or even obvious, because of the many different types of pain that can occur. However, if we are talking about muscle pain related to sports or work, there are a few good tips to limit its occurrence.
- Warm up, in order to wake up your muscles gently and to prepare them.
- Hydrate regularly before, during and after exercise.
- Increase your training load gradually (volume, intensity).
- Stretch after exercise. This reduces the risk of injury and the intensity of muscle pain!
- Let your body rest. Your muscles need time to recover.
What causes muscle pain?
Muscle aches and pains are not related to age or gender. Everyone is likely to suffer from it!
It should be noted that athletes are particularly susceptible to muscle pain, because of the efforts they put on their body.
Muscle pain can have various origins. It can be caused by a trauma such as a fall, excessive or unusual force imposed on the body, poor posture or repetitive movements.
We are not necessarily aware of it, but the rhythm of daily life can also cause us pain. Since the pandemic, the incidence of work-related muscular pain has exploded.
Fatigue or stress are other factors that can cause muscle pain, as well as illness or deficiencies.
What disease causes muscle pain?
Different illnesses can cause muscle pain. Viral illnesses such as the flu or sore throat can cause muscle pain. Symptoms differ from one individual to another, so they are not systematic.
Fibromyalgia is another disease, a chronic one, which causes constant muscle pain among other things.
What are the symptoms of muscle pain?
Every part of the body can be affected by muscle pain. However, pain in the back, legs and arms is quite common.
Different symptoms can accompany pain, such as tingling, numbness, burning, or discomfort or difficulty with movement.
If the symptoms persist after a few days, and interfere with your daily life, you should consult a healthcare professional.
What are the signs and symptoms of muscle inflammation?
It is important to understand that not all muscle pain is caused by inflammation. A cramp, for example, is not an inflammation of the muscles, but a muscle contraction.
However, when we talk about muscle contractures or tears, there is indeed an inflammation of the muscles. Symptoms differ from one condition to another, depending on its severity and the person’s experience.
In the case of muscle tears, for example, symptoms may include sharp, stabbing pain, bruising or swelling.
Fibromyalgia: What is it and how can you recognize it?
Although it is quite common in the Canadian population, the causes of fibromyalgia are not always clear. It was recognized as a chronic disease by the World Health Organization in 1992. There are various possible explanations for its appearance, including social and psychological factors.
This chronic disease causes muscular pain and affects women in particular.
This could be explained by one of the suspected causes of fibromyalgia, hormonal disorders, such as menopause.
Muscle pain, often constant, is one of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It can be associated with joint pain, fatigue, sleep disorders or even depression-related symptoms.
Fibromyalgia can be very disruptive to a person’s day-to-day life, and in some cases can lead to occupational disability.
Physiotherapy helps to treat the symptoms of fybromyalgia, providing relief from the pain. Treatment may include stretching exercises, stress management, advice or education.
Do you rarely exercise, went for a hike in the Laurentians and woke up with widespread pain in your calves and buttocks? This is most certainly muscle soreness!
These widespread pains generally appear in the hours after the effort, and can last a few days. Their intensity and duration can vary depending on various factors, such as the intensity of the activity performed and the person’s previous experience with physical activity.
When suffering from muscle soreness, the affected muscles are usually tender to the touch. The pain may be intensified with movement.
If you experience muscle soreness as a result of physical activity, there is no need to worry. It is a normal reaction of the body to an excessive and/or unusual effort.
However, muscle soreness can also be the symptom of a viral illness. In this case, you should seek medical advice.
Stress and muscle pain
Stress is a natural reaction of the body to an event that we perceive as pleasant or unpleasant and that can potentially be a threat to our balance.
Have you ever felt stressed the day before a job interview or just before a date? It is perfectly normal! In fact, your body is used to reacting to stress and regulating it.
As a physical reaction, stress can lead to many symptoms, which are more important when the body is unable to regulate it. Among them: excessive sweating, an accelerated heart rate or… muscle tension.
Managing your stress at work or in your life is one way to reduce the potential muscle pain that can result from it.
COVID-19 and muscle pain
It’s hard to talk about muscle pain without mentioning COVID-19! The virus can cause various symptoms, which can vary greatly from one individual to another. The main symptoms are fever and cough, but some people also experience muscle and joint pain.
Which deficiency can cause muscle pain?
In some cases, muscle pain can be a sign of a deficiency. For example, when your body is deficient in vitamin D, certain signs may alert you. These include fatigue, mood changes and muscle aches.
Muscle pain, hot or cold?
This question comes up a lot! You injured your calf while running and are wondering if you should apply ice or heat to your muscle pain?
Both options have their own properties. On the one hand, cold is well known for its analgesic effect. On the other hand, heat has a relaxing effect on the body. It helps to relieve muscular tension.
Therefore, in the case of muscle pain, such as cramps or soreness, applying heat is the most recommended treatment. However, you must listen to your body! If the heat does not help, stop applying it. If not, you can continue to apply heat for short periods.
Protect your skin with a towel to avoid burning it. A hot-water bottle can also be a good option!
If you have persistent muscle pain after a few days, make an appointment with one of our physiotherapists.