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What Are the Different Types of Muscle Pain Treatment?

Cortisone injections can help with muscle pain.
Muscle pain is often caused by sports-related injuries.
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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 15 March 2014
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Some of the different types of muscle pain treatment include rest, anti-inflammatory medicine, and deep tissue massage. A physical therapy exercise program may help to reduce pain associated with a muscle injury. Other treatments include ultrasound and cortisone injections. If the pain is a symptom of fibromyalgia, treatments such as stress reduction and exercise can be important.

The appropriate type of muscle pain treatment depends on the underlying cause. Resting from any activity that causes pain is nearly always the first step, however, because this is essential for allowing the muscle to heal. Muscle pain can be caused by a variety of factors including being overloaded, muscle fiber tears, and conditions such as fibromyalgia; as such, treatments vary considerably. Along with rest, a doctor will often recommend the use of over-the-counter painkilling medication for minor muscle pain.

Massage is commonly employed as a muscle pain treatment. When muscles are overworked and strained, the damage is healed by scar tissue. Over time, large amounts of scar tissue builds up which can cause pain. Deep tissue massage is often effective at getting rid of scar tissue, thus allowing the muscle to function as it should. This is sometimes known as trigger point or sports massage.

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If the discomfort is caused by an injury, muscle pain treatment may involve a stretching and strengthening routine. To begin with, treatment focuses on reducing inflammation and preventing the muscle from tightening up. Once the initial pain has subsided, stretching the muscle is essential to ensure that it continues to function correctly. Strengthening exercises can reduce the chance of the injury reoccurring in the future.

There are a number of other treatments that a physical therapist may use when treating muscle pain. Ultrasound, for example, is effective at breaking down scar tissue below the surface of the muscle. Injection of an anti-inflammatory drug, specifically cortisone, into the muscle can be useful for relieving pain if inflammation is present. Applying heat to the muscle can help with chronic pain because it makes the muscle fibers relax.

Those with fibromyalgia may suffer from a large amount of muscle pain. This type of pain isn’t caused by inflammation, however, so it needs to be treated differently. Fibromyalgia muscle pain treatment usually involves educating the patient about his or her condition, along with reducing stress levels. Exercise which doesn’t cause pain is also important. Medication for relieving discomfort may be recommended.

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Discuss this Article

OeKc05
Post 4

I think that heat is the best neck pain treatment. I stay stressed all day while struggling to meet deadlines at my computer for hours at a time, and my neck and shoulders become very stiff and sore.

I have a heated neck wrap that I use when I get home. It looks like a skinny rectangular neck pillow. I heat it in the microwave until it is nearly hot, and then I wrap it around my neck and relax.

I sit there until it starts to lose its heat, and then I reheat it and relax with it some more. After about forty-five minutes of heat application, my muscles are so much looser, and the pain has gone away.

This type of treatment is much better for me than pain medication. I would hate to become addicted to pills, because I would need them every day, if it weren't for my heated neck wrap.

seag47
Post 3

@kylee07drg – Some people take acetaminophen for muscle pain relief, but I agree with you that anti-inflammatory medicine is the best treatment. Acetaminophen blocks pain signals before they get to the brain, but anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen actually work on the muscle itself.

I have had muscle pains so bad before that I had to get a cortisone injection. This happened back when I thought that running uphill would be a great workout. It turned out to be too much of a challenge and a major pain in my leg muscles.

If I get muscle pains these days, it's usually from doing a lot of lifting. As long as I haven't torn anything, I can just take ibuprofen and I'll be fine.

kylee07drg
Post 2

I frequently overexert my muscles while working in my flower garden. I just get so into what I'm doing that I forget to pace myself, and I wind up with muscle pain the next day.

I rely heavily on anti-inflammatory medication for this. It is the only thing that helps ease the pain.

However, I still have to deal with the weakness, shakiness, and fatigue. For those, rest is best. I won't allow myself to do any physical labor or work out for several days, and that is usually sufficient time to recover.

cloudel
Post 1

I have fibromyalgia, and I can no longer do the strenuous exercises I used to do as a teenager. When I try to do them, I feel as if my muscles are about to break, and I hurt all over.

So, I find that gentle exercise that gets my heart pumping and makes me breathe a little faster yet doesn't strain my muscles or cause fatigue is the best kind for me. In the summer, I do water workouts. The water provides gentle resistance while letting me move about easily and gracefully.

During cooler weather, I go on brisk walks every day. If it is extremely cold outside, I just stay inside and follow along to a yoga workout video.

Moderate exercise like this helps me keep my muscle tone and health without causing me any pain. I also find that I experience less pain while just sitting around when I make it a point to work out daily than when I grow lax and skip a few days of exercise. So, gentle exercise is both my pain prevention and treatment.

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