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Muscular Pains

Not many people know that there are more than 600 muscles in human body. Made up of elastic tissues and fibres, they produce force and cause motion. Mainly classified into three categories, namely 1) skeletal muscles, 2) cardiac muscles, and 3) smooth muscles, muscles help the body to move, they help in circulation of blood in the body, and so on.

Along with the bones, the skeletal muscle gives strength and power to the body, for example to hands and legs. It is also known as voluntary muscle. Muscle that builds up the heart is the cardiac muscle, which is responsible for the blood circulation in the body. Apart from the cardiac muscle, the muscle which is constantly at work is knows as a smooth muscle, like the muscles of the digestive system. Cardiac and smooth muscles are known as involuntary muscles. Meaning, they function on their own without following any instructions given by the brain.

Muscular Pain
Everyone goes through one or the other kind of muscular pain during his/her lifetime. Muscular ache is a common phenomenon and usually involves more than one muscle. When muscles are put under tremendous stress, overused or suffer from an injury, there is pain. Also, muscle ache can be a symptom of a condition like flu, which affects the whole body.

Causes:
1. Overuse of muscles
2. Injuries, strains and sprains
3. Stress or tension

It can also be a result of following conditions:

  • Dermatomyositis
  • Electrolyte imbalances like too little potassium or calcium
  • Certain drugs, including:
  • ACE inhibitors for lowering blood pressure
  • Cocaine
  • Statins for lowering cholesterol
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Polymyositis
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Infections, including:
  1. Influenza (the flu)
  2. Lyme disease
  3. Malaria
  4. Muscle abscess
  5. Polio
  6. Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  7. Trichinosis (roundworm)

Types of muscular pain
1. Muscle cramps
2. Back muscle pain
3. Generalised musculo-skeletal pain
4. Myalgia
5. Vague muscle aches
6. Hand cramps

Preventive measures:
1. If you are required to work for long hours in the same position make sure to stretch your body after every one hour.

2. Follow an exercise regime so that your muscles are strengthened.

3. Do warm up before exercising and cool your body down after exercising.

4. Stretch before and after exercising

5. Drink a lot of liquids before, after and during exercise.

Treatment:

  • Rest: Rest is the prime requirement for treating muscular pain. If the muscles don’t get enough rest, they continue to cause inflammation and to ache.
  • Ice: Apply ice to the affected area because it reduces bleeding, swelling and pain in the body.
  • Elevation: It’s advisable to follow elevation of the injured part, as ice is being applied to it or just after such a session. It helps relieve muscle pain and swelling.
  • Compression: Wrap the injured part with an ice wrap or in an elastic bandage, as it helps to reduce swelling by application of pressure. Follow this treatment after the area has been treated with ice and elevated for best results.
  • Anti-Inflammatory medications: Anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce swelling and alleviate painful symptoms. But, sometimes they can cause side effects like an upset stomach
  • Heat Application: Heat increase the blood flow and thus relaxes the affected area of the body. However, don’t apply this method to acute muscular injuries.
  • Avoid Muscle Fatigue: Muscle helps in absorbing energy, and restoring the strength of the muscle will help prevent re-injury. Muscles that are fatigued are more likely to be injured.
  • Warm-Up Properly: Warming-up before playing a sport will loosen the muscles and help prevent pain and injuries.
  • Epsom salt bath: An Epsom salt bath can wonderfully reduce the muscular pain, and provides instant relief. It is a natural cure process for muscular pain and strain.

A human body comprises of 80% water. According to a generalised estimation, an average human being drinks about 16000 gallons of water in his entire life.