Aches and pains: causes, symptoms and how to relieve them

Courbatures : causes, symptômes et comment les soulager

Do you feel intense pain in your muscles after returning to the gym? If so, you have what is called muscle soreness. These are muscle pains that usually occur after intense exercise. However, there are other reasons for the appearance of muscle soreness. Let’s find out together the causes, symptoms and possible treatments of muscle soreness in the body.

What are the causes of muscle soreness in the body?

Physical pains more or less intense, the aches are muscular pains which you feel in various conditions, namely:

  • after physical effort;
  • following a viral infection;
  • during an attack of fever;
  • in case of stress;
  • etc.

Soreness due to physical effort

These aches are due to micro lesions or tears in the muscles that are not used to supporting the workload to which they have been exposed. Thus, these lesions of the muscular fibers lead to inflammatory reactions at the origin of the pain. They are also responsible for the discomfort and muscle stiffness observed in some cases.

Aching muscles due to a fever

When you have a viral infection such as the flu or an illness that has a fever as one of its symptoms, you may experience muscle soreness. This is because the body’s fight against germs and viruses begins with a series of reactions known as inflammation. This inflammatory reaction is thus at the origin of aches and pains.

Stress as a cause of aches and pains

One of the body’s reactions to stress is an increase in muscle tone. This muscular hypertonicity is necessary in this case to help the body overcome anxiety and stress.

However, in the absence of adequate rest, the high level of stress on the muscles leads to muscular pain and soreness. These aches and pains due to stress are generally felt in the neck and back.

Le stress comme cause de courbatures

Lack of water and fibromyalgia

When the body is subject to dehydration, it causes low oxygenation of the muscles. This lack of oxygen causes the production of lactic acid, which favors the onset of muscle soreness.

Apart from dehydration, fibromyalgia can also be the cause of muscle soreness in the body.

What are the symptoms of muscle soreness?

The signs of aches and pains can range from a simple muscle pain to a total inability to perform movements. Thus, we can quote as symptoms of a stiffness:

  • muscle pain, which generally appears 24 hours after physical effort
  • swelling or an increase in the volume of the muscles concerned;
  • a decrease in the ability to carry out movements;
  • a painful sensation when the affected muscle is touched;
  • temporary partial or total hypotonia of the affected muscles for days;
  • etc.

How to relieve muscle soreness?

Several solutions are available to relieve muscle soreness and pain. In fact, in general, the following means are effective against aches and pains, regardless of their origin.

  • rest and get a good night’s sleep;
  • stay well hydrated during and after sport;
  • eat properly after sport;
  • use cold or heat;
  • use compression garments;
  • practice active recovery;
  • opt for massage using a massage gun;
  • etc.

How to prevent muscle soreness?

Even if sometimes they seem unavoidable, certain precautions can help prevent muscle pain. One of these tips is to gradually increase the level of difficulty of physical exercises, especially when you start a new sport.

Another precaution is to have a warm-up and stretching session before any physical activity. In fact, this session prepares the body to support the workloads at the gym or during a jog.

Hydrating regularly during and after sports, but also eating well after the physical effort session helps to reduce pain in the muscles involved. Finally, finishing sports sessions with a cool-down session, consisting of active recovery exercises, is also an excellent idea to prevent muscle soreness.

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