Do you experience unexplained muscle soreness?
Does it sometimes occur suddenly with no particular cause?
Muscle soreness is a random pain and discomfort or involuntary muscle contraction, which may be mild or severe depending on the cause.
Your muscles become sore and achy when you exert so much pressure on them that sometimes leave them tender and highly sensitive.
This can be because of various factors like stress, injury, sprains, strains, or even underlying health problems.
What Is Muscle Soreness?
Muscle soreness or myalgia, as it is also called, is characterized by deep steady aches or random pain.
It occurs in any part of the body that has muscles.
This condition is experienced differently as some people might feel pain in certain areas of their body while others have aches all over their body.
It is mostly caused by infections, inflammation, diseases, injury, and strains in the affected muscles.
Putting a lot of pressure, stress, or strain on your muscles and joints can cause sensitivity and inflammation.
This leaves them tender and achy, which results in soreness.
Sometimes this may be completely normal and heal on its own, in cases like exercises or trying out a new workout regime.
However, there are other instances where strains can lead to and be triggered by severe issues.
Soreness varies in level of intensity for every individual.
It may be relatively mild, with nothing much to worry about and go away after a few hours or days.
Or be so severe that it lasts longer with serious pain and discomfort. There are different situations that can trigger a muscle ache, such as;
- Starting a new exercise or workout routine
- Adding a new workout or activity to the previous one in progress
- Increasing the intensity of pressure in your exercise program, for example, increases the number of weight lifts
- Repetitive performance of exercises or straining activity
Who Might Have Muscle Soreness
Muscle soreness can happen to anyone of any age or gender.
However, it is more prevalent in people who engage in more strenuous lifestyles and activities.
This includes people with more muscle-tasking jobs, like site workers, plumbers, bodybuilders, and professional athletes.
Although muscle soreness may sometimes be mild and normal, in cases of bodybuilding.
This can be a sign that your body is getting stronger.
During workouts when you stress and exert so much energy, your fibers are likely to break down and repair themselves, strengthening them and larger than they previously were.
This process prepares your muscles ahead for your strenuous exercises. This makes them better equipped to handle the stress.
Some people, however, experience severe to debilitating muscle soreness.
This is sometimes common in older people with arthritis or individuals with chronic diseases, injury, infections, or inflammation associated with muscle aches.
It might be quite confusing sometimes, trying to figure out if your pain is a cause for alarm or a flare that can be easily treated with home remedies.
Pain can get too much. It interferes with your daily routine and prevents you from carrying out normal activities, or if discomfort lasts for over 72hours.
What Causes Unexplained Muscle Soreness?
Muscle soreness is caused by various reasons that may sometimes be nothing to worry about or conditions that require immediate medical attention.
Stress is a prevailing factor in muscle aches. It is one of the most common causes.
When you are stressed or unwell, your body, in its bid to fight off inflammations or infections, may eventually result in muscle soreness as a sign of excess pressure or breakdown.
Other symptoms include high blood pressure, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, headaches, overall body pain.
Drinking an adequate amount of water helps the body function properly. Not taking enough fluids, especially water every day, can affect you in more ways than you think.
It can lead to shortness of breath, breathing, and digestion difficulties.
This may also cause pain and discomfort in your muscles because of your limited ability to function well.
It is required of every individual to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day.
Strains and sprains
Another common cause of muscle aches and discomfort. It occurs because of injury, wear, and tear.
This type of soreness usually occurs in a particular area that becomes stiff and achy after injury.
Depending on the level of impact, strains and sprains are usually treated with over-the-counter pills, massages, heat therapy to relieve discomfort.
However, visit your physician if you notice signs of complications or severity.
Sleep is essential for your body. It allows you to rest and recuperate after a long day.
Having sleep problems like oversleeping or not sleeping well enough can cause your muscles to ache.
It can also affect your thinking ability, leading to a lack of concentration.
Excess physical activity
Exercises are recommended for every adult. It helps your body function better.
However, overdoing these workouts can make your muscles sore, stiff, and achy. Factors that increase your risk of muscle soreness during exercise include;
- Trying out a new workout plan
- Not being used to exercises
- Exerting more energy than required
- Not warming up properly before working out.
Diseases and Infections
Diseases and infections that affect your muscles are anemia, arthritis, pneumonia, influenza, lupus, chronic fatigue.
Sometimes these may be hereditary, passed on from one or both parents or family members.
What Other Symptoms May Occur With Muscle Soreness
Muscle Soreness may sometimes occur with other symptoms.
Although this is most prevalent where it is associated with other medical health issues. Some of these symptoms are;
Every individual that has muscle ache at one point or the other in their life is more likely to have either mild or severe joint pain followed by stiffness and weakness in the affected area.
This is usually an involuntary muscle contraction that may be more obvious when pressure is applied on the affected joints or muscles.
It is often sudden and goes away almost immediately.
Heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness that aren’t because of dehydration or low blood pressure may signal other infections or health problems.
Visit your health center for a diagnosis if you experience this symptom.
Signs of infection
Signs like rash, redness, or swelling can be caused by inflammation and should be treated immediately once noticed.
Soreness and aches in one part of your body are most likely because of strains, injury, tension, and stress.
However, if discomfort occurs throughout your entire body, then this may be because of medications, infections, or underlying illness.
Treatment For Muscle Soreness
Home remedies are often used to relieve discomfort caused by minor factors like injury, excess exercise, or stress.
The R.I.C.E method is mostly used as an immediate treatment process.
This is to stop all activities that may have triggered the soreness and rest the affected area as soon as possible.
You can now apply an ice pack over the affected place. Ice should be in a packed form and applied 15-20 minutes, three times a day.
This helps relieve pain as well as reduce swelling.
Afterward, a compression bandage is wrapped around the affected area. This helps apply pressure to reduce swelling and stop the flow of blood.
Lift the affected feet or arm slightly higher than its normal position to minimize inflammation.
Other helpful remedies that can be used alongside the R.I.C.E process is;
Over-the-counter pills help relieve pain and stop inflammation. Painkillers are mostly used. You should request a prescription and diagnosis if pain persists afterward.
This may seem confusing to some individuals whose soreness is caused by working out.
But there is a difference. Gently stretch or massage the affected area without irritating it to allow circulation of blood flow and steady healing.
Practice relaxation techniques that help calm and relieve your nerves. It could be yoga, meditation, a stroll, or a mild activity that works best for you.
When To See A Physician
Sometimes complications may arise if your symptoms are because of an underlying condition that requires a medical diagnosis.
You should see your physician if you notice:
- Redness, swelling and other signs of an infection
- Development of tick bites and rashes
- Symptoms worsened by certain medications
- Debilitating pain that causes difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe muscle weakness and inability to move affected area
- Sudden reduction in urine volume
- Stiffness and high fever
Although muscle soreness is not necessarily a cause for alarm, persistent pain and discomfort might require immediate medical attention.
You can, however, prevent sore muscles from stress, exercise, and tension by;
- Stretching and warming up before exercising
- Take breaks at intervals to avoid over exerting your muscles
- Exercise regularly to keep your body fit and toned
- Drink enough water, stay hydrated and rest well
Medical News Today: What Are The Causes Of Unexplained Muscle Soreness
National Kidney Foundation: Understanding Muscle Soreness – How Much Is Too Much
Cleveland Clinic: Muscle Pain