Myalgia, or muscle pain, is an indication of an underlying muscle injury or disease. If the pain originates from overtaxed or injured muscles, the area around the muscle will be sensitive to touch. Certain diseases also cause myalgia and produce a wide array of myalgia symptoms. Treatment methods are contingent on the cause of the myalgia.
Myalgia symptoms caused by muscle strain manifest quickly. Damaged muscles have certain trigger points that emanate pain when stimulated, usually by contact. Active trigger points are areas where the muscle is inflamed and extremely tender. Latent trigger points are areas where the torn muscle results in pain only if it is used a certain way. These symptoms subside within one week if the muscle is not completely torn. If the muscle pain persists longer than one week, it may be an indication of a greater injury or condition.
Stretching prior to engaging in physically activities can prevent this form of myalgia from occurring by ensuring that the muscles are loose; sufficient rest periods during strenuous physical activities will also prevent injury caused by overuse. If the signs of myalgia have already been exhibited, heat and compression can provide relief. Massaging the hurt area with warm mustard oil will also help relieve tension in the muscle. Also, certain plyometric exercises can rehabilitate the muscle and minimize atrophy. An extended respite involving limited use of the muscle may be necessary to ensure proper healing.
In situations where myalgia symptoms are present despite no direct trauma to the muscle, a virus or another underlying disease may be the cause. Unlike symptoms brought about by injury to a muscle, those caused by illness are typically more widespread; a viral muscle infection can cause pain in several muscle groups throughout the body if left untreated. Illnesses also cause other signs of myalgia. Muscles may become inflamed, resulting in sore throat, restricted movement, and difficulty breathing, depending on the disease and its location in the body. Headaches and abdominal pain are also possible symptoms. Finally, people experiencing myalgia may feel fatigued and experience increased irritability.
An extended period of myalgia symptoms may require immediate medical intervention, especially if the pain resides around the heart; myalgia can interfere with the heart rate of the afflicted and cause him or her to go into cardiac arrest. The remedies for myalgia caused by muscle injury also provide relief to myalgia caused by infection.