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What is the main cause of muscle pain? Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment.

In this article titled: What is the Main Cause of Muscle Pain? We’ll share a basic understanding of muscle pain types, symptoms, and available forms of treatment.

Introduction to understanding causes of muscle pain

Muscular pain, sometimes referred to as myalgia, can stem from a range of factors and conditions. Identifying the distinct types of muscular pain, its symptoms, and potential causes is crucial for effective diagnosis, management and treatment.

In this article, we delve into the main causes of muscular pain, including muscle injuries, inflammation, muscle imbalance, chronic conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and stress. We explore related topics such as muscular strain, cramps, myofascial-pain, and syndromes of fatigue.

Additionally, we discuss muscular pain treatments, including home remedies, and offer guidance on post-workout soreness and fatigue-related muscle aches.

Types of Muscle Pain:

Muscular pain can manifest in different forms, ranging from acute to chronic. Understanding these types helps in identifying the underlying causes and appropriate treatment options available. We discuss the following:

Muscle Strain:


Muscular strains often result from overexertion, sudden movements, poor conditioning, or improper lifting techniques.


Common symptoms include localized pain, swelling, muscle weakness, limited range of motion, and in some cases muscle spasms.

Preventative Measures:

To reduce the risk of muscular strains, maintain optimal posture, neutral position of the spine, warm up before physical activities, stretch regularly, and gradually increase exercise intensity. Additionally, use proper lifting techniques and avoid overexertion.

Muscle Cramps:


Muscle spasms or cramps can be caused by dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, muscle fatigue, poor circulation, or excessive exercise.


Stay hydrated, especially during physical activities, and maintain a balanced diet to ensure adequate electrolyte intake. Regular stretching, avoiding excessive muscle fatigue, and correcting underlying medical conditions can also help prevent muscle spasms.


To alleviate muscle spasms, gently stretch and massage the affected area, apply heat or cold packs, or use topic muscle creams. In severe cases, medical intervention may be necessary.

Muscle Injuries and Trauma:


Muscle injuries and trauma often occur due to accidents, falls, or sports-related incidents. These incidents can result in sprains, strains, contusions (bruises), or more severe injuries like muscle tears or ruptures.


Symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the injury but can include pain, swelling, bruising, limited mobility, muscle weakness, and difficulty bearing weight.


Treatment approaches for muscle injuries and trauma depend on the extent of the injury and may include rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE method), physical therapies such as chiropractic and soft tissue therapy, pain management, and in some cases, surgical intervention.

In conclusion, understanding the causes, symptoms, preventive measures, and remedies for acute muscular pain is crucial. Muscular strains can be prevented by practicing proper lifting techniques and conditioning, while muscle cramps can be mitigated through hydration, nutrition, and appropriate stretching.

Muscle injuries and trauma often result from accidents or sports-related incidents and require a range of treatments based on their severity. By taking proactive measures and seeking timely care, individuals can minimize the impact of acute muscular pain and promote faster recovery.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) Overview:

Is a type of muscular skeletal pain that is a chronic pain disorder characterized by localized areas of muscular pain and trigger points, which are sensitive knots in the muscles.

The pain experienced with MPS can be persistent or intermittent and may cause referred pain in other areas of the body.

Common Causes:

Muscle overuse or repetitive motions: Engaging in activities that strain the muscles or involve repetitive motions can contribute to the development of myofascial aching.

Muscle trauma or injury:

Direct trauma to the muscles, such as from an accident or sports injury, can trigger the onset of MPS.

Poor posture:

Maintaining poor posture for extended periods can strain the muscles and lead to the development of trigger points and muscular pain.

Stress and tension:

Emotional or psychological stress can contribute to muscle tension and the development of myofascial aches.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS):

Exploring the Connection between Fatigue and Muscular Pain


CFS is a Persistent Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not alleviated by rest.

Muscular pain is a common symptom experienced by individuals with CFS, often accompanied by other symptoms such as cognitive difficulties, sleep disturbances, and post-exertional malaise.

Connection between Fatigue and muscular Pain:

The relationship between fatigue and muscular pain in CFS is not fully understood. It is believed that abnormalities in the central nervous system, immune dysfunction, and mitochondrial dysfunction may contribute to the development of both fatigue and muscular pain.

It is also possible that the persistent fatigue experienced in CFS leads to muscle deconditioning, which can result in muscular pain and increased sensitivity to pain.

Inflammation and Inflammatory Conditions:

Understanding the Impact of Chronic Inflammation.


Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, designed to protect and heal the affected area. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can contribute to various health conditions.

Impact of Chronic Inflammation:

Chronic inflammation has been associated with several conditions that can cause muscular pain, including rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases.

Inflammatory processes in these conditions can lead to muscle inflammation, joint pain, and tissue damage, resulting in chronic muscular pain.

Understanding the role of chronic inflammation in these conditions is essential for developing effective treatment strategies that target inflammation and alleviate associated muscle aches and muscular pain. It is important to consult with a family chiropractor or other healthcare professionals for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment approaches.

Contributing Factors to muscular Pain: Exploring their Implications

Muscle Imbalance and Poor Posture: Effects on Pain

Muscle Imbalances:

Muscle imbalances occur when certain muscles are stronger or tighter than their opposing muscles, leading to altered movement patterns and increased stress on specific muscles.

Imbalances can develop due to sedentary lifestyle, repetitive movements, or improper exercise techniques.

Poor Posture:

Maintaining poor posture for extended periods can place excessive strain on certain muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.

Common examples include hunching over a desk or slouching while sitting, which can contribute to neck, shoulder, and back pain.


Muscle imbalances and poor posture can lead to overuse of certain muscles and underutilization of others, resulting in chronic muscular pain.

Over time, these issues can lead to musculoskeletal imbalances, decreased flexibility, and increased susceptibility to injuries.

Chronic Conditions and Diseases: Influence on Muscular Pain

Underlying Medical Conditions:

Various chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, can cause muscular pain as a primary symptom.

These conditions often involve inflammation, tissue damage, and changes in the nervous system’s perception of pain.


Chronic conditions and diseases can contribute to persistent or recurring muscular pain, affecting the quality of life and physical functioning of individuals.

Proper management and treatment of the underlying condition are essential to address the associated muscular pain effectively.

Muscular Pain caused by Lyme Disease

Also known as Borreliosis, can cause muscular pain as a symptom. It is important to recognize the signs, such as generalized body aches or localized pain, along with other symptoms like fatigue and a distinctive rash. Prompt diagnosis through blood tests and follow up treatment at the earliest opportunity is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Experience Muscle Pain Relief from Borreliosis

To alleviate muscle aches caused by Lyme-disease, strategies include health supplements, detoxification protocols, medications like NSAIDs, rest, gentle movement, heat or cold therapy, and physical therapy. These approaches can help reduce inflammation, relax muscles, and improve overall function.

Lyme-Disease-Risk-Warning: Richmond Park

When visiting risk areas like Richmond Park, be aware of tick-borne diseases like Lyme-disease which tends to be higher in areas frequented by deer. Take precautions to prevent tick bites, such as wearing protective clothing, not venturing across high grass in shorts, using insect repellent, and performing thorough tick checks. It is also advised to stay at a safe distance from the deer.

Early detection and treatment are essential, so seek medical attention if symptoms arise. Stay informed to minimize the impact of Borreliosis.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Impact on Muscle Health

Inadequate Nutrient Intake:

Insufficient intake of essential nutrients like vitamins D, E, and B12, calcium, magnesium, and potassium can affect muscle health.

These nutrients play crucial roles in muscle function, energy production, muscle contraction, and tissue repair.


Nutritional deficiencies can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, cramps, and impaired muscle recovery after exercise.

A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is vital for maintaining optimal muscle health and preventing muscular pain associated with deficiencies.

Stress and Tension: Psychological and Emotional Contributors

Psychological and Emotional Stress:

Psychological and emotional stress can cause muscle tension and contribute to muscular pain.

Stress triggers the release of stress hormones, which can increase muscle tension and decrease blood flow to the muscles.


Prolonged stress and tension can lead to chronic muscular pain, especially in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Practicing stress management techniques, such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and engaging in stress-reducing activities, can help alleviate muscular pain associated with stress.

Understanding these contributing factors to muscular pain is crucial for effective management and prevention. Maintaining optimal posture, addressing muscle imbalances, managing chronic conditions, being aware of medication side effects, ensuring adequate nutrition, and managing stress levels can all play significant roles in reducing muscular pain and promoting overall musculoskeletal health.

If experiencing persistent or severe muscular pain, consulting with a family chiropractor or other healthcare professional is recommended for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Unexplained Muscular Pain: Identifying Underlying Factors

Severe Muscular Pain in Arms and Legs: Potential Causes

Inflammatory Conditions:

Muscular pain in the arms and legs can be associated with inflammatory conditions like polymyalgia rheumatica, myositis, or vasculitis.

Symptoms may include muscle weakness, swelling, tenderness, and stiffness, which often worsen whilst performing physical activities.

Nerve-related Issues:

Nerve-related muscular pain, such as peripheral neuropathy or radiculopathy, can cause unexplained pain in the arms and legs.

Numbness, tingling, burning sensations, or shooting pain may accompany the muscle discomfort.

Unexplained Muscular Pain in Arms and Legs at Night:

Nocturnal muscular pain can be related to conditions like restless leg syndrome (RLS), periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), or fibromyalgia.

Treating the underlying condition and managing symptoms through regular chiropractic care, natural supplements, soft tissue therapy, lifestyle modifications, and physiotherapy can help alleviate nighttime muscular pain.

Post-Exercise Muscular Pain: Understanding and Treating Discomfort

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS): Causes and Recovery Strategies

DOMS is the muscle soreness and stiffness experienced 24 to 72 hours after intense or unfamiliar exercise.

It occurs due to microscopic muscle damage, inflammation, and the release of chemicals that sensitize pain receptors.

Recovery strategies include rest, gentle stretching, applying ice or heat packs, using over-the-counter pain relievers, and gradually increasing exercise intensity over time.

Muscle Recovery Techniques: Alleviating Sore Muscles after a Workout

Engaging in proper cool-down exercises, such as light aerobic excercise and stretching, helps remove metabolic waste and promotes muscle recovery.

Applying ice or cold packs can reduce inflammation and alleviate soreness, while warm baths or heating pads can enhance blood flow and relaxation.

Adequate hydration, healthy nutrition, and getting enough sleep contribute to optimal muscle recovery.

In cases of unexplained muscular pain, it is important to consult a family chiropractor or other healthcare professionals for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. They can evaluate symptoms, conduct diagnostic testing if necessary, and develop a personalized treatment plan.

What causes sore muscles after workout?

Sore muscles after a workout, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), are primarily caused by microscopic muscle damage and inflammation. Intense or unfamiliar exercise can lead to this type of muscle soreness.

For post-exercise muscle soreness, following recovery strategies and incorporating rest days into exercise routines can aid in preventing excessive muscle discomfort.

8 Common Factors that contribute to Muscular Pain

While there isn’t a single definitive cause for all cases of muscular pain, some common factors contribute to its occurrence. These include:

1. Overexertion and Muscle Strain:

Engaging in excessive physical activity or lifting heavy weights can strain the muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.

2. Muscle Injuries and Trauma:

Accidents, falls, or sports-related incidents can result in muscle injuries such as strains, sprains, or tears, causing pain.

3. Inflammation and Inflammatory Conditions:

Inflammatory conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia can lead to muscular pain due to chronic inflammation in the body.

4. Muscle Imbalance and Poor Posture:

Imbalances in muscle strength or poor posture can place undue stress on certain muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.

5. Chronic Conditions and Diseases:

Underlying medical conditions such as myofascial-pain-syndrome, muscular dystrophy, or autoimmune disorders can cause persistent muscular pain.

6. Medications and Side Effects:

Certain medications may have muscular pain as a side effect in rare cases, such as statins used to lower cholesterol.

7. Nutritional Deficiencies:

Inadequate intake of essential nutrients like magnesium or vitamin D can contribute to muscular pain and cramping.

8. Stress and Tension:

Emotional and psychological stress can manifest as muscle tension and pain, especially in the neck & shoulders, and the back.

While these factors are commonly associated with muscular pain, it’s important to note that each individual may have unique circumstances and underlying causes. Consulting with a family chiropractor or other healthcare professionals can help determine the specific cause of muscular pain and guide you towards appropriate treatment

Muscular Pain Related FAQ

What causes severe muscle pain in arms and legs?

Severe muscular pain in arms and legs can be caused by various factors such as inflammatory conditions, nerve-related issues, or nocturnal muscular pain disorders like restless leg syndrome.

What are typical muscle inflammation symptoms?

Typical symptoms of muscle inflammation include pain, swelling, redness, warmth, and decreased range of motion in the affected area.

Should I be worried about unexplained muscle pain in arms and legs at night?

Unexplained muscular pain in arms and legs at night can be concerning. It is advisable to consult a family chiropractor or other healthcare professionals for evaluation and an accurate diagnosis to identify any underlying conditions or disorders.

What’s the best for unexplained muscle pain in arms and legs treatment?

The treatment for unexplained muscular pain in arms and legs depends on the underlying cause. It is essential to consult at the earliest opportunity with a family chiropractor or other healthcare professionals for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Any tips for muscle pain treatment at home?

Home remedies for muscular pain relief include resting the affected muscles, applying ice or heat packs, gentle stretching, topical muscle creams, self-massage, use of a foam roller and maintaining adequate hydration and nutrition.

Why does my body ache and I feel tired no fever or other symptoms?

Tiredness accompanied by body aches but without a fever could be due to various reasons, such as overexertion, stress, inadequate rest, poor sleep quality, or certain medical conditions. It is advisable to consult a family chiropractor or other healthcare professionals for a thorough evaluation and accurate root cause diagnosis.

Conclusion on Muscular Pain Types, Diagnosis and Treatment

Muscular pain can arise from a variety of causes, including muscle injuries, inflammation, imbalances, chronic conditions, medication side effects, nutritional deficiencies, and stress. Identifying the underlying cause is essential for appropriate treatment and management.

Healing Hands Chiropractic offers a comprehensive analysis for muscular pain, to establishing a clear root cause diagnosis using advanced diagnostic tools and scans such as the EMG muscle function scan, nerve function scan, heart rate variability scan as part of their 10-step initial chiropractic assessment.

For the safe and effective treatment of muscular skeletal imbalances such as persistent muscular pain, they offer a multi-disciplinary treatment approach combing chiropractic adjustments, ischemic compression, myofascial release, trigger point release, spinal y-strap traction, corrective exercise and stretches, health guidance and lifestyle modification advice, as part of a personalised healing plan.

Take the first step towards relieving muscular pain by scheduling an appointment with our experienced chiropractors today. You can reach our 24/7 helpline on tel: 020 8948 9102, drop by the clinic in-person or book your initial assessment using our online booking system.