What Is Muscle Pain?
Muscle pain is a common reaction to injury, intense
exercise, or physical labor. Overdoing it at the gym, straining an ankle, or
simply slouching at your desk can result in muscle pain ranging from minor to
severe. However, the source of most muscle aches and pains is just basic
overuse. Muscle overuse is defined as using a muscle too much, too soon after
extended use, or too often. Tension due to stress or poor posture can also
cause muscle fatigue and pain, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back.
Avoid pain by exercising regularly to strengthen your
muscles, but don’t overestimate your strength or abilities at the gym. Some
minor pain after working out is normal, but improper weight lifting or
significant overuse can result in serious strains. Treat pain by applying ice
within 24 hours to reduce swelling, apply heat to soothe the muscles, and then
rest the muscle until the pain has subsided. Warming up and stretching before
and after exercise can also protect your muscles from strain.
Not all muscle pain is related to injury or strain. There
are also several medical conditions that cause muscle pain, including
fibromyalgia, infections like the flu or Lyme disease, and lupus.
Most muscle pain will go away on its own and does not
require medical attention. However, if you can’t determine the cause of your
pain, or if the pain hasn’t improved after three days of home care, talk to