Muscle aches

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Muscle aches

How to recognize aches?

Aches are muscle pain that can result from physical exertion, fatigue or fever. They generally appear 24 hours after exercise.

These pains are due to microlesions of muscle fibers. The muscles are then hard and tired. The aches last about a week.

What are the causes of muscle soreness?

Aches can occur as a result of several factors:

  • After a physical effort, the muscles used which are not used to working are not able to withstand the load imposed on them. Muscle fiber damage can then form and lead to stiffness.
  • Fever may be another explanation for muscle aches in viral infections. In this case, the nodes which fight against the virus by putting it in the presence of lymphocytes intended to fight it are reached. This inflammatory fight is a source of stiffness.
  • Dehydration can weaken the muscles and promote the appearance of muscle soreness due to a lack of oxygen.
  • Stress can also cause muscle pain in the neck and back. A reaction to stress causes muscle hypertonia (= increased muscle tone) which is beneficial in relieving anxiety but becomes painful in the absence of physiological time for rest. Muscle exhaustion can be felt because the muscles are overworked and stiffness can appear.
  • Muscle pain can also appear in the case of fibromyalgia (= syndrome characterized by pain diffused throughout the body associated with great fatigue and sleep disorders). The pain then increases in the muscles which can cause stiffness. However, the causes of these pains are not fully defined by specialists.

What are the consequences of muscle soreness?

Aches are not dangerous but cause pain and discomfort as each movement becomes difficult to achieve.

They can impact performance, reduce range of motion, decrease muscle capacity to absorb shock, and decrease muscle strength and power. Due to the pain, it is difficult to fully engage the muscle.

Aches can also be sources of unusual strain on tendons and ligaments.

What solutions to relieve muscle aches?

In order to avoid stiffness, it is recommended not to resume too intense sporting activity within 24 to 48 hours after the onset of stiffness. Rest is also recommended so as not to strain sore muscles.

In addition, a complete warm-up before any sporting activity as well as stretching at the end can help prevent muscle soreness.  

Massaging the affected muscles can help relieve muscle stiffness pain.

Certain medications such as pain relievers or anti-inflammatories may be prescribed on the advice of a doctor.

Finally, do not hesitate to consult a doctor if the aches last a long time or are too frequent.

Read also :

Solutions against muscle soreness

Our fact sheet on fibromyalgia

 

Our stress file

 

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