Myalgia, or muscle pain, is a serious, yet sometimes simple, source of pain and problems.
Although this kind of pain is often localized, affecting just one part of the body, it can produce real suffering that may greatly impact a person’s ability to perform even the most basic of daily tasks.
The severity with which one experiences muscle pain varies greatly depending on the reason for the muscle pain.
The most common causes of Myalgia include overuse, injury, or strain. However, it is also important to remember that muscle pain is often a component of different diseases and disorders.
The most extreme pain is often a result of Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP). However, there are treatment options for all kinds of muscle pain, granting individuals relief from their symptoms while allowing them to live normal, productive lives.
Overused and Abused: Muscle Pain Resulting From Repetition
As one of the most common sources for muscle pain and discomfort, almost everyone has experienced the uncomfortable result of repetitive exercise or movement on the muscle tissues.
This family of muscle pain disorders is commonly referred to as Repetitive Motion Disorders (RMDs).
RMDs comprise a group of muscular conditions that manifest throughout normal work or daily activities.
These conditions are typically the result of too many uninterrupted repetitions of an activity or motion, unnatural movement of the body, overexertion, or muscle fatigue.
RMDs mostly occur in body structures used frequently such as the hands, elbows, shoulders, and wrists. However, depending upon the activity, they can also occur in the back, legs, and neck, among other places.
RMDs are typically harmless, despite a few days of discomfort, pain, or loss of strength in the area affected.
Over time, however, RMDs can cause permanent damage in soft tissues such as muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments.
Treating RMDs is as easy as simply refraining from executing the action that caused the pain or discomfort to begin with.
If this is not possible, individuals can also participate in physical therapy or surgery should the pain be extremely severe and incapacitating.
The prognosis is also quite good for those suffering from an RMD, as it is possible to recover quickly and fully from the pain and prevent it from happening again in the future. However, for those unwilling to seek treatment, permanent damage is possible.
Injurious Muscle Pain
Some slightly more extreme forms of muscle pain are sprains and strains. The most common muscles affected by muscle pain as a result of injury are high speed and weight-bearing muscles such as the hamstrings, thighs, calves, back, and biceps.
Depending upon the severity of a muscle injury, treatment can greatly vary. Muscle tears can range from mild strains to moderate strains or even severe strains and complete ruptures.
Numerous characteristics can indicate more than just an RMD as the cause of discomfort.
Although muscle tightness and fatigue are indications of both RMDs and strains or sprains, muscle tears are often accompanied by outward indications of injury such as bruising.
Additionally, there will be a greater amount of discomfort in a truly injured muscle, including excessive tightness and the inability to fully stretch an injured muscle.
Correct diagnosis is the key to addressing these kinds of muscle injuries. Before visiting a doctor, however, it is important to ice and elevates a swollen or injured region.
If the pain is persistent, an individual must visit their doctor to further evaluate the cause of the pain, as different degrees of injury can require extremely different methods of treatment.
Therapy is often a good option for those who suffer muscle pain from injuries, as rehabilitating an area that has been affected is the easiest way to ensure a fast and effective recovery.
Maintaining treatment procedures throughout rehabilitation is vital, as simply going through therapy and then returning to past behaviors is a good way to get hurt again.
Muscle Pain as a Result of Disorders
The largest cause of muscle pain is muscle pain as a result of several different kinds of disorders.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis are all disorders that entail a great deal of muscle pain as a side effect.
Widespread muscle and joint pain are indications of all of these disorders, necessitating treatments that address and reduce the suffering experienced as a result.
Alternative therapies and relaxation are key to reducing the muscle pain associated with different disorders.
Alternative therapies include options such as massages, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatments. All of these treatments hold the potential to reduce stress and relieve any tension in the body by increasing blood flow.
Acupuncture in particular is thought to facilitate the release of endorphins, which block the experience of pain in the body.
As part of a comprehensive program through which to manage pain, alternative therapies are a great option through which to reduce the cognitive effects of discomfort.
Herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, and dietary changes can also facilitate healing when it comes to muscle pain.
Raw diets are extremely helpful in reducing the inflammation often associated with muscle pain and discomfort.
Additionally, avoiding harmful processed foods is a good way to stay away from the chemicals that can further aggravate muscle pain.
Although the potential benefits of herbal supplements remain unclear, they could impact a condition for the better.
However, a person should always consult their doctor before taking this step, as some remedies may interfere with medications in a harmful way.
Where Chronic Pain and Muscle Pain Collide
Although not all muscle pain is chronic, there are some conditions in which discomfort may always be an underlying factor to cope with.
The best example of such a condition is Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP). This illness affects the muscles and the sheath of tissue, or fascia, that surrounds the muscles.
While this condition can be limited to just one area of the body, it also has the potential to affect many, causing increasingly severe levels of discomfort and pain.
Everyone at one point or another has experienced the pain of CMP, even if they have not been diagnosed with the condition or experienced the extent of its effects.
The distinguishing factor, however, is the fact that the pain associated with CMP is chronic. The disorder can affect both men and women, typically between the ages of 30 and 60.
The main problem with CMP and chronic muscle pain are that when one muscle, or group of muscles, is affected, there are adverse effects on the rest of the muscles surrounding the area.
Because CMP compromises the ability of the muscles to function properly, the excessive pressure on the other muscles can cause them to fall victim to complications as well.
However, there are treatment options to lessen the chronic pain associated with CMP.
In addition to the main treatments, however, it is also important for an individual to pursue any other solutions that can correct factors that have led to the development of the illness.
Physical therapy and massage therapy are two options that complement one another. Physical therapy is intended to stretch the muscles of the body while strengthening them and improving posture.
Massage therapy aids in this process by loosening any tight muscles and relieving cramping that may occur during strengthening exercises.
Medicinal options are available as well to help treat the chronic pain of CMP. Common medicines used to treat CMP include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, which can help to reduce pain.
Injections are more direct solutions, inserting pain medications directly into the affected trigger points where the discomfort is most highly concentrated.
Improving posture, reducing body weight, regular exercise, and stress management are all good options to prevent the painful, chronic episodes of CMP.
Because there are so many options for treatment, a person must tailor their choices to meet their specific needs, therefore improving their quality of life.
The Basic Consensus on Muscle Pain
Muscle pain can be a minor, or major component of everyday life. Some people prefer to leave their condition untreated, effectively worsening any symptoms they are already experiencing.
Even the most basic muscle pain necessitates attention, allowing the tissue to heal while reducing the inflammation that can cause further problems in the body.
Myalgia is one of the most common conditions in the world, affecting everyone who simply overexerts themselves or comes down with an illness that facilitates the experience of muscle pain.
The important thing to remember is to seek out correct and personal treatment, addressing specific symptoms as they arise instead of when the pain becomes unbearable.
By taking the necessary steps, a person with the most basic pain to the person with CMP does not have to suffer under the weight of their discomfort.
There are always options for those willing to find seek them out, and treatment for muscle pain offers people endless opportunities to address and eliminate the source of their distress.