The patients suffering from muscle pains randomly use painkillers and myorelaxants. However, incorrectly used myorelaxants for muscle pains which may result from various diseases can cause further problems. The first step is to identify the underlying reason of muscle pains. The treatment must be planned accordingly.
Muscle pain may appear as a feeling of fatigue on muscle, sensitivity, sclerosis, seizure, spasm, cramp or burning sensation. Muscle pain generally does not wake patients up. The pain increases when patients use that muscle. Pain may continue also in the course of resting if infection and fluid is observed.
The most common causes of muscle pain are:
- Muscle strains and stretches,
- Spine problems (spinal and cervical disk hernias, dislocations, nerve compressions due to osteoarthritis),
- Influenza (flue)
- Lyme disease (tick bite)
- Drugs, especially statins, cholesterol lowering drugs,
- Myofascial pain syndrome,
- Rheumatic diseases,
- Rhabdomyolysis (a case which threatens life as characterized by the rupture of muscle fibres and their penetration into blood. It may sometimes appear as an adverse effect of statin drugs’ usage.),
- Bacteria and viral infections,
- Blood electrolyte imbalance (particularly potassium, phosphor, magnesium),
- Circulation disorders
- Muscle cramps (Sudden and painful muscle contractions. They occur generally on the calf muscle. Muscle cramps may result from intramuscular fluid and electrolyte loss, retention of toxic substances on muscles or circulation disorders.),
- Muscle spasms (It is commonly observed in spinal and cervical disk hernias. Patients may have difficulty in describing the location of pain. Therefore, they may not identify the pains arising from other tissues. For instance hip pain may diffuse to the muscles of thigh bone.).
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?
Muscle pains caused by stress, strain, misuse or exercise can generally be cured with the treatments that can be applied at home. Pain muscles resulting from a severe injury or another disease, on the other hand, usually require a well-planned treatment.
Long term exercises may lead to muscle pains. Particularly the exercises which are started above a certain age and not designed in a customized manner may result in muscle pains. The exercises that stretch muscles like pilates may cause muscle and joint problems if the individual suffers from a spine or joint disorder or if the exercise is not performed according to the muscle structure. Massages applied due to a muscle pain may be harmful if intramuscular oedema exists.
Incorrect interventions at an early period may cause serious muscle problems and their recovery may last for months.
The following measures should be applied within the first 48 hours in case of a muscle strain:
- Ice: Ice application on the painful area three times a day for 15-20 minutes
- Lifting: Lifting the foot or arm to reduce possible swelling
- If the muscle pain is increasing and lasts more than a week and there are infection symptoms around the painful muscle such as redness and swelling, you should necessarily consult to a doctor.
You should refer to an emergency unit if muscle pains are accompanied by respiratory distress or dizziness, muscle weakness, high fever and neck sclerosis.