Every part of the body aches sometimes after a taxing workout schedule, we get up feeling refreshed after a good nights’ sleep but suddenly feel our neck or hips aching badly due to wrong positioning or its also possible that greater the time we spend sitting and working more is the chances of a shoulder ache or an arm issue. These are common problems that occur in adults and children alike which go away on their own without any treatment but rarely these can also be a sign of an underlying disease.
Medically called as ‘myalgia’ muscle aches can occur in any part of the body that has muscles. Cause of the ache determines the severity of the problem.
Overexertion, trauma and viral infections are common causes of muscle aches but there are quite a few other causes too that contribute to the problem occasionally.
Strain/sprain:A sprain or a strain can cause muscle pain where a particular area of the body becomes stiff and aches constantly. These don’t need any treatment and resolve on their own with rest, heat packs and over the counter medications (OTC) in most cases. It is required to meet a doctor only when the strain/sprain restricts movement, causes pain and doesn’t cure with time.
Physical activity: Abstaining from physical activity or overdoing the activity can lead to achy muscles. It usually occurs when a person is trying out some new exercise form, unused to exercise, exercising for longer than usual periods or doesn’t take care to warm up or cool down properly.
Dehydration: This seems to be a simple problem, but its effects are numerous and serious. Water is required to keep the body functioning properly without which even breathing, digestion or moving around becomes a problem. Every person is required to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily and the requirement changes from individual to individual depending on activity level and body type. Too much of water in the body can also lead to hazardous effects that can ruin health.
Stress: Stress deprives the body of its ability to fight off inflammation or infections and causes the muscles to ache. Stress makes it difficult to protect the body against any disease and muscle pain is a side effect of stress. Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation can relieve your mind of stress and keep your body healthy.
Improper nutrition: Nutrition is required for the proper functioning of the body as well to fight against diseases from attacking the body. Vitamin D is one such nutrient whose deficiency can cause muscle aches. This vitamin is required for absorbing calcium properly and for ensuring that muscles function correctly. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to hypocalcemia which in turn can affect bones and organs as well.
Sleep: While improper sleep positions or sleeping in a specific position all through the night might cause muscles to ache the next morning, sleep deficits can also cause muscles to ache.
Diseases and conditions: Several medical conditions such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, influenza and fibromyalgia can cause muscle aches.
Common symptoms that occur alongside your muscle pain and ache include fever, rash, dizziness, breathing difficulty, redness/swelling and weakness in the affected areas.
The muscle ache/pain occurs in a particular area or throughout the body depending on the underlying reason. An infection, medication or illness can cause aches all over the body while a strain, injury or tension will cause discomfort in a specific area.
Home remedies are often sought-after ones for dealing with aches and pain. Individuals usually try curing the symptoms using the RICE method which includes Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Each of the treatment methods in RICE are clearly explained in detail at www.firsteatright.com and these are sure to relieve the individual from pain.
Doing stretches, participating in activities such as yoga and meditation that promote relaxation of the muscles/reduce stress and minimize pain are good treatment options. If none of this works, it is always better to get in touch with a physician who might prescribe pain relievers or suggest the next course of treatment.
It is always advisable to avoid a muscle pain/ache by taking care of your body. Keep yourself active and your body flexible by exercising regularly, stretch before exercising, warm up and cool down before and after exercise and take a break regularly when you sit together and work continuously.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.