Muscle pains – massage, warming ointment, compresses
Annoying muscle pains are the most common diseases and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and one of the most common causes of disability.
However, these problems do not arise only from the working conditions or the load or fatigue in performing professional duties. Pain may occur after the bike tour, but it also accompanies certain diseases.
When we say that our muscles hurt, we mean skeletal muscles, so the ones that are composed mainly of muscle tissue and are endowed with the ability of contraction.
They constitute an essential element of the musculoskeletal system, because they are attached to bones and allow them to move. Their main function is to allow the body to perform the movement, and moving. Muscles perform mechanical work, generate heat in the body and facilitate blood circulation, especially in the veins of the legs, in the direction of the heart.
Man has approximately 400 skeletal muscles of different shape and size. With regard to the fact how they can be arranged in relation to the respective joints and depending on the structure of the joints, they can cause different movements and their names derive from that. For example, there are flexors, rectifiers, adductors, abductors, recurring and reversing muscles.
The movements that are performed by the organism rarely depend on individual muscle contraction – usually it is a group of muscles working together. The shrinkage is the result of stimulation of muscle cells by nerve impulses. This is called electromechanical coupling.
Work of muscles produces a number of changes throughout the human body. These changes relate mainly to cardiovascular and respiratory systems. For example, during strenuous exercise, heart rate is accelerated to about 150 beats per minute. This rate is necessary to improve the blood supply to the muscles and oxygen supply, which in turn creates optimum conditions for work.
The degree of muscle fatigue and load and thus the risk of developing the disease, may be assessed using an electromyogram analysis. This method consists in recording the electrical activity of the muscles, because as a result of contraction, electric phenomena occur in them, associated with a decrease or an increase in muscle tone.
Mysterious lactic acid
During intensive muscular work, with insufficient oxygen supply to the organism, there is overproduction of lactic acid – three-carbon carboxylic acid, which is the final product of anaerobic glycolysis – decomposition of sugars and micro-damage of tissue. This phenomenon may be accompanied by fatigue and pain. If the body does not suffer from a lack of oxygen, the formed lactic acid is transferred to the liver where it is oxidized to pyrogen acid and burned in the so-called. Krebs cycle or converted to glucose.
Fatigue, overload or illness?
Muscle pain resulting from excessive load, abnormal posture or even sheer exhaustion, the ones that are not accompanied by any other symptoms, usually do not require special treatment. In such cases, it is enough if you change position, rest, take generally available analgesics, massage, do relaxing exercises, warming compresses with essential oils or lubricating ointments containing herbal extracts of such action (eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary, marjoram). A similar role is also played by popular so called tiger balm.
For muscle pains hydrotherapy, showers and baths, for example, with the addition of pine needles are also used. Analgesic effect has both heat and cold. Whether in a given time a heating or cooling compress will help depends on the individual sensitivity to temperature, the location of the pain, and the extent of the time elapsed since the appearance of the first symptoms of it.
Glycogen that muscles lose due to overload (and lactic acid takes its place) is usually quickly rebuilt by the same muscles, which rebuild this compound from the glucose supplied with blood. It has been proved that lactic acid is absorbed after about 60 minutes after exercise. Therefore, in case of pains not accompanied by other serious symptoms, you can wait a bit and then see if warm or cold is more effective in relieving it.
A list of diseases which may be accompanied by muscle pain is very, very long. Therefore, you need to always pay attention to the signals your body sends to you. Fever, sore throat, feeling of general breakdown in connection with muscle pains may indicate flu, tonsillitis, mononucleosis, encephalitis. In turn, spreading rash on the skin together with muscle pains can indicate a Lyme disease.
Muscle pain may accompany even such diseases as ovarian cysts, toxoplasmosis (zoonosis), lupus (an autoimmune disease), hepatitis C, neuroses and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Joint and muscle aches of hands and arms occur quite commonly. They should not be underestimated, as it can be a symptom of more serious diseases of the cervical spine. The characteristic numbness may indicate a slipped disc in this section. Already the first symptoms, not related to the effort, should prompt a visit with an orthopaedist or neurologist.