Everyone experiences muscle soreness and pain at some point whether it be after an intense workout or after a slip and fall. But, what if your muscle soreness and pain can’t be explained by something that you’ve recently done? What could be causing your unexplained muscle pain and what pain relief options are available to you?
Common causes for muscle soreness and pain include injury or trauma to the area, overuse of the area and tension or stress. However, sometimes muscle soreness and pain can be caused by other conditions that may be difficult to diagnosis including:
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– Certain drugs – including blood pressure medications, cocaine and cholesterol lowering drugs
– Dermatomyositis – involves inflammation of the muscles and skin
– Electrolyte imbalances within the body
– Fibromyalgia – chronic body pain and tenderness of the joints, muscles, tendons and soft tissue
– Infections -influenza, Lyme disease, malaria, polio, rocky mountain spotted fever, and roundworm
– Lupus – is an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin, joints, brain, kidneys, and other organs
– Polymyalgia rheumatica – is an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle pain and stiffness
– Polymyositis – is an inflammatory disease of muscles
– Rhabdomyolysis – involves breakdown of muscle tissue
It is important to determine the cause of your muscle soreness and pain in order to treat the underlying cause of the problem. If your doctor determines that you have an underlying condition such as infection or Lupus, proper medical management may be necessary for you to experience pain relief.
Temporary muscle soreness and pain from trauma overuse or tension and stress will commonly respond well to “RICE” therapy. This involves resting, icing, compressing and elevating the affected area. Ice should be used for pain relief for the first 72 hours after you start to feel pain. After this time, switching to heat on the affected area will likely provide you with more pain relief.
Massage, physical therapy and chiropractic treatment may help to relieve muscle soreness and pain due to many conditions including sprains and strains as well as fibromyalgia. Engaging in a regular fitness routine will also help to maintain proper muscle tone and balance. Be sure to seek assistance from a medical professional before beginning a physical activity routine as they will help to make sure that the activities will not create further pain. Also be sure to slowly work your way into a regular routine. Participating in low impact exercises such as cycling, swimming and walking will help to prevent muscle soreness and joint pain that can be experienced when participating in high impact activities such as running and aerobics.
Learning to properly manage your stress levels is important as well, yoga and meditation can help to provide calming effects which may also help with pain relief.
If pain relief isn’t obtained with self-treatment or alternative care, you may want to consider calling your doctor. If you have swelling and inflammation around the area of pain or if you’re experiencing poor circulation and pain in your lower legs you should call your doctor’s office to make an appointment. If you have sudden pain that doesn’t go away or comes every time you exercise or if you notice a tick bite or rash or if you start having pain after switching medications, consult your doctor immediately. If your muscle soreness occurs together with difficulty breathing or dizziness, extreme muscle weakness or with a high fever and/or stiff neck seek medical attention promptly as these may be signs that something serious may be occurring.
It’s important to get to know your body, what’s “normal” for some people may not be normal for you. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. If you have pain that isn’t going away and is concerning you, seek medical attention so that it can be dealt with properly.
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