What is Muscle Pain?

Muscle pain derives from discomfort felt in your muscles and can come in the form of tension, overuse, or muscle injury caused from exercise or hard physical work.  Usually, this kind of pain tends to involve a particular set of muscles, and it can start during or after the activity.  Most of the times we can pin-point what activity caused this pain but sometimes it can go undetected. 

Every busy bee will experience muscle pain at one point or another.  Muscle pain is your body’s way of telling you that certain muscles in your body need to relax and “smell the flowers” so to speak.  After all, our bodies are made up of connective tissues and organs that have needs of their own that our minds sometimes tend to ignore.  Sometimes the best way for us to understand muscle pain is to comprehend that there are different kinds of muscle pains.

What causes muscle aches and pains?

The leading causes of muscle aches and pains usually come from tension, stress, overuse, and minor injuries.  The differentiating factor with muscle aches is that it is a localized pain, as opposed to a pain felt throughout the entire body.  If you are feeling a pain throughout your entire body then it is likely a sign of an infection, illness, or possibly a side effect from a medication (and another important reason to let your RMT know if you are taking any medications!). 

A common cause of muscle aches and pains comes from exercising.  As we exercise, we are stretching and stressing our muscles in order to improve our health. 

However, as we continue to exercise regularly, we break down our muscle tissues to which our muscle tissues respond by using nutrients in the body to develop themselves as they respond to their environment.  In this exercise process, technically speaking, we are creating little injuries to localized areas in our bodies in order to gain the larger health benefits of exercise.  But this is not limited to lifting weights, nor should it deter you from buying into the buzz about regular exercise.  Rather, exercise is just simply a leading cause to muscle aches and soreness that I am sure that you can vouch for if you’ve ever had an amazing workout and then really felt it the next day.

What causes muscle spasms?

Muscle spasms are, unfortunately, common and some spasms can be quite painful depending on the severity.  The common causes of muscle spasms include over-exercise, dehydration, and stress.  The best way to tell if you are experiencing a muscle spasm is that you may feel an involuntary twitch or painful cramp. 

The best way to prevent muscle spasms is to drink plenty of water and stretch muscles before you hit the gym.  If you work a physically strenuous job then you may also want to consider doing some stretches as well to try and prevent muscle spasms.  

What kind of massage helps with pain?

Deep tissue massage is the best type of massage to treat muscle pain.  This kind of massage focuses on manipulating the body’s soft tissues.  Deep tissue massages can be implemented as a full-body massage with the goal of managing body stress or pain.  

A deep tissue massage involves applying prolonged pressure with slow, deeper strokes that targets the deeper layers of your muscles and connective tissue.  Deep tissue massages can help to address scar tissue build-up that forms after an injury.  

Deep tissue massages don’t actually focus on relaxation, rather, they focus on treating muscle pain and targeting any muscle stiffness.  This is what primarily makes deep tissue massages the sweetest option to treat any muscle pain whether it is an ache or a muscle spasm.

Please keep in mind that deep tissue massages are not right for everyone as deep tissue massages use techniques that apply very firm pressure.  For example, anyone with osteoporosis or that has cancer spread to their bones should avoid deep tissue massages as the firm pressure may cause a fracture.  The best way to evaluate whether or not a deep tissue massage is right for you is to consult a registered massage therapist and to share with them your goals and benefits in mind for your massage.

Now that you know the causes of muscle spasms, the causes of muscle soreness, and how a deep tissue massage can treat those conditions; you have already improved your mental health by expanding your knowledge and hopefully learning more about yourself.  Of course, if there are still any further questions that you may have, you are certainly invited to reach out to our hive of registered massage therapists for a free 15-minute consultation.