What is muscle ache?


Know the basics

What is muscle ache?

Muscle is common-found soft tissues which is structured by protein filaments being flexible in both the length and the shape. Its main function is to maintain and change posture, locomotion, as well as movement of internal organ.

Muscle ache is also known as muscle pain, myalgia, or simply pain in the muscles. It can involve a small area or your whole body, ranging from mild to excruciating. Although most muscle pain usually goes away within short time, in some cases, it can stay for longer. Muscle pain can develop almost anywhere in your body, including your neck, back, legs and even your hands.

How common is muscle ache?

Almost everybody has likely experienced discomfort in muscles at some point in life.  However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of muscle ache?

The common symptoms of muscle ache include any discomfort feeling in muscle, such as pain, tenderness, and spasm. This feeling can be at some certain muscle only (localized myalgia) or spread from one places to others (diffuse myalgia).

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • A known tick bite or could have had a tick bite
  • Muscle pain, especially in your calves, that occurs with exercise and resolves with rest
  • Signs of infection, such as redness and swelling, around a sore muscle
  • Muscle pain after you start taking or increase the dosage of a medication — (particularly statins — medications used to control cholesterol

Know the causes

What causes muscle ache?

Causes of muscle ache are various, include:

  • Muscle tension in one or more areas of the body
  • Overusing the muscle during physical activity
  • Injuring the muscle while engaging in physically demanding work or exercise (muscle sprains and strains are both injuries that can cause muscle aches and pain)
  • Some muscle infection or inflammation

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for muscle ache?

There are many medical condition considered as risk factors for muscle ache, such as:

  • Risks of getting injuries during physical activities.
  • Overwork of musculoskeletal system in daily life.
  • Risks of infection and inflammation in muscle.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is muscle ache diagnosed?

Various techniques are available to determine the cause of pain, including physical examination, pain measurement tools and imaging tests.

Your doctor might also perform:

  • CT or CAT scan: Computed tomography (CT)
  • MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Discography
  • Myelograms
  • EMG
  • Bone scans

How is muscle ache treated?

Muscle aches often respond well to home treatment. Treatments can be considered:

  • Medications: pain relievers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), medications to increase the body’s level of serotonin and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters that modulate sleep, pain, and immune system function) may be prescribed in low doses
  • Physical therapy

Therapeutic massage: resting the area of the body where you are experiencing aches and pains, applying ice to the affected area to help relieve pain

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage muscle ache?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with muscle ache:]

  • Stretch your muscles before engaging in physical activity and after workouts.
  • Incorporate a warm-up and a cool-down into all of your exercise sessions.
  • Stay hydrated, especially on the days when you are active.
  • Engage in regular exercise to help promote optimal muscle tone.
  • Get up and stretch regularly if you work at a desk or in an environment that puts you at risk for muscle strain or tension.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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