Muscle Aches and Pains: Why They’re Happening

Common Causes of Muscle Aches and Pains

Even the most active individuals suffer from muscle aches and pains. In fact, most are a result of exercise and/or sport. Stopping dead in your tracks, resting and simply moaning about your body’s aches and pains is not the answer.

Experts believe that most common muscle aches and pains caused by exercise can be alleviated with home remedies, that is unless you have suffered an accident or fall.

Here are some of the causes of the most common muscle pains and what to do.

Why is my heel on fire?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common culprit of heel pain. It is an inflammation of the tissue at the bottom of the foot that supports your arch. It can occur from over training, wearing shoes that don’t support your arch, no shoes at all, or training in worn out shoes. It is a common ailment in gymnasts and dancers as many train in bare feet.It is important to listen to aches and pains in your feet, they could be telling you there is a more serious health issue elsewhere.Home treatment: Gel inserts or orthotic insoles in your shoes will help to reduce pain and swelling, as will massaging the injury by rolling a tennis ball or cold bottle of water under your foot.

What is that pain in my lower back?
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is a muscle or ligament strain that can be caused by lifting, a sudden sharp movement, twisting, or the lifting of a heavy object. This causes microscopic tears to the muscles or ligaments as a result of the over stretching.

Home treatment: Rest if it feels too sore and take pain relief to help reduce any internal swelling. Once you are feeling better hit the gym. Studies have shown that non-weight bearing exercise and core training can relieve back pain.

What is that ache in my elbow? 
A regular cause for pain around the elbow and sometimes down into the wrist isTennis or Golfer’s elbow. As the name suggests the injury is caused by overuse of the joint from repeated swinging actions, although not necessarily golf and tennis.

Home treatment: It is important to rest from the activity that caused the injury and use cold compresses and light pain relief to speed up the recovery. Gently ease yourself back into sport as you feel up to it.

What has caused the pain in my knee?
Pain on the outside of your knee could be caused by a tight IT band. This is the tissue that runs from your hip to your knee. It is a common symptom in runners which may have been caused by bad running form, moving up your speed or distance too soon or worn out shoes. Research into “runner’s knee” says that it could be related to weak hip abductors and glutes.

Home treatment: You can loosen your IT band by laying on your side, placing a foam roller under your hip and rolling it from hip to knee. Reduce your running distance down to before the pain is triggered and carry out exercises to strengthen your legs and glutes. Then invest in a good pair of running shoes with fitted sports insoles.

Why are my shins so sore?
That uncomfortable pain down the front of your shins is likely to be medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints as it is better known.  It is quite simply caused by too much too soon or training too often and too hard.

Home treatment: Change your exercise regime to lighter non-weight bearing exercise until the pain subsides. Swimming and biking are both good in these circumstances.

Why is my ankle causing me pain?
Ankle sprains are very common in both sport and exercise activities. It is very easy to roll over on your ankle, which causes and over stretching of the ligaments.

Home treatment: The RICE method. RestIce three times a day, Compress with an elasticated bandage and Elevate above the level of your heart as much as you can for a couple of days.

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