Are you worried about your Muscle Pain?
In cases where you are experiencing mild to moderate pain in your muscle it may be a symptom of muscle strain. Any muscle strain will result in some pain, tenderness, and weakness in the affected area, whether it is in your hand, foot, or any other area. If your muscle pain is in your leg or foot then you may find it difficult to walk, you may notice that your ankle has swollen or appears bruised, and you may not be able to put your full weight on to it, possibly experiencing cramping or spasms, a sudden and uncontrolled shortening of the muscle.
Muscle strains can be very uncomfortable and painful to experience, their symptoms will likely make it very difficult for you to maintain your usual routine and may prevent you from doing certain activities completely while you recover. If you have experienced a muscle strain then it is very important you rest for a while, avoiding strenuous activities like exercising, that may exacerbate your symptoms. Take pain killers like paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets or gels that can treat the affected area, use an ice pack to help reduce the blood flow and therefore the swelling. If your injury is confined to the lower limbs then you can also reduce swelling by elevating the injury, raising your leg, or propping your foot up on cushions. While putting something cold on the muscle may help, it is best to avoid any heat packs, hot water bottles or warm baths as this will not help. Unless you are experiencing a mild cramp it is ill-advised to treat a sprain by massaging the muscle as this could aggravate the area and cause an increased pain level. It may take months to return to normal but once you can move the muscle or put your weight on it again then it is a good idea to keep active with gentle movements and increases to your activity, this will help prevent the muscle from becoming too stiff through lack of use and encourage healing. While it may not always be possible to avoid muscle injuries, you can prevent them from happening by ensuring you always warm up by stretching before participating in any exercise or sports.
Most muscle sprains or injuries are not usually a sign of a serious problem but will likely turn out to be temporary and pass within a few months of rest and recuperation. However, unexplained muscle pain, where the cause of its onset may not be obvious should always be treated seriously. If you are worried about the pain you are experiencing or are suffering any of the symptoms listed in the section below, then please do not hesitate to book a consultation with a doctor.
- If the injury has not improved or worsened after treatment at home
- If the pain and swelling continue to worsen
- You have additional symptoms such as a high fever or the skin is hot to touch or itchy
- If you have suffered pain following an accident or injury, as this could indicate a fracture or break of the bone instead
- You have suffered an injury and a body part has altered shape or position or you heard an audible cracking noise at the moment of impact
- If the area where you have pain is also badly discoloured or cold to touch
- Chronic exertional compartment syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Influenza (flu) and other viral illness (influenza-like illness)
- Lyme disease
- Muscle cramp
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Polymyositis (inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness)
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever