5 surprising causes of muscle pain

We list the 5 ways you can get muscle pain, and whose reasons had probably not occurred to you before!

Pain is such an integral part of our lives, that minor aches do not even trouble us. You apply some pain relief cream on the painful muscle or joint and get on with your life. A few hours later, you find that the pain has gone, and soon, you forget all about it.

But some kinds of pain recur regularly, and the causes are surprising. We list 5 of these common causes of muscle pain:

1 Flip flops. Who would have thought that a footwear as uncomplicated as flip flops can cause muscle pain? But the simple flip flop is not as simple as you think. This kind of footwear is often thin, thus offering no sole support or barrier against the ground. If you suffer from a condition like Plantar Fasciitis, then flip flops can aggravate it further since they will make walking on gravelly or slippery ground that much more painful. Besides, they only have a thin strap extending from the big toe to the sides of the foot to hold the footwear in place. Thus, your calves and ankles are forced to work harder when you’re wearing flip flops, because the foot automatically tenses up against the lack of shock absorption and protection. Prolonged use may cause constant foot pain and even muscle pain treatment from a physiotherapist.

2 Your smartphone. A surprising cause of pain in the hand and finger muscles is your smartphone. The world over, there are numerous cases of ‘texting thumb’ and ‘phone neck’ which are informal names given to muscle pain in the thumb and neck caused by prolonged smartphone use. Those who text or play games regularly on their phones use their thumbs extensively to swipe, flick, toggle and poke the screen. Meanwhile, talking on the phone for long periods with the neck at an angle to hold the phone against the shoulder, can cause the neck and shoulder muscles to ‘freeze’ in an unnatural position. If you experience either of these pains, there are two things to do. One, use a good pain relief cream or spray as part of your daily muscle pain treatment course at home. Two, stop using the smartphone so much and you won’t experience the pain!

3 Cardio exercises.Though you feel relaxed and refreshed after swimming, running or brisk walking, cardio exercises can cause muscle pain in different ways. The primary cause is pushing the body beyond its normal endurance. The muscles, tendons and bones are forced to work much harder when you do cardio exercises. The level of activity is fine to the point where the muscles are stimulated and calories are burnt to sustain the exercise. But you have a problem on your hands if you feel dizzy while you run or cycle, or if you experience cramping in your calf muscles. Stop the exercise at once, drink water infused with minerals and electrolytes, and apply a muscle relaxant on the sore or painful area. If the cramping and spasms occur frequently, you might need to take muscle pain treatment from a doctor.

4 Television. Though binge watching entire seasons of the latest shows on Netflix or your favourite channel is one of your life’s passions, this same habit could be causing a lot of stress on your back and neck. When you watch TV for long periods of time, you tend to slouch in your seat, or lie down with your head turned sideways and slightly upraised on a cushion. This puts a lot of stress on your neck and shoulder muscles, and causes stiffness. You might experience what is commonly known as a ‘crick’ in the neck from hours of binge-watching TV. If you must, keep a pain relief spray handy and use it on your neck and shoulder when they feel painful and cramped.

5 Your mattress. A good night’s sleep is not just about getting uninterrupted eight hours of shut-eye: it is about sleeping in the right position so that your spine and neck are not distressed. Many people have the wrong mattresses on their beds, which dip easily under the body weight. A mattress that dips excessively causes a strange curvature in the spine, which can cause the muscles around it to bend unnaturally as well. Meanwhile, a pillow that does not support the neck causes pain and stiffness in the neck muscles. Get a firm mattress and a pillow that provides enough support without being too hard. You will see a gradual reduction in back and neck pain with these simple steps.

However, some types of muscle pain are too acute to be ignored. If the pain comes in waves or is of a spasming variety, then it could be a sign of an internal ailment that needs investigation. Consult a pain management expert or sports physio to get the right kind of muscle pain treatment.