Muscular Pain

Physio for Muscular Pain

Poorly managed muscular injuries can result in discomfort, tightness and restricted movement. Specialist physiotherapy assessment and appropriate manual therapy treatments can help reduce pain and improve mobility.

Muscular Pain (Myalgia - medical term for muscular pain) 

Pain is the most common symptom reported with musculoskeletal conditions and the most common cause of injury is typically from overuse or overstretching of a muscle group. Muscular pain related to increased muscular activity is a common experience for many people accounting for 85% of human pain complaints. However, other conditions can falsely present as muscular pain e.g. infections cause muscle aches and pains.


If you have any worries, questions and concerns regarding muscular pain your GP Surgery will be able to provide advice and support regarding this.

Additionally, the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine (ACPSM) recommends the PRICE guidelines for the management of acute injuries for the first 72 hours. Apply ice intermittently for the first 24 - 72 hours of an injury to reduce pain and inflammation. Oil is applied to the skin prior to application to minimise the risk of an ice burn from the low temperature.

Physiotherapists work extensively with musculoskeletal pain and can provide assessment, advice and management of muscular injuries.


Please find below links which will give you further information.

RICE Guidelines


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Muscular Pain – Myogenic Pain

Physical activity (at home, work or sport related) which exceeds the capacity of the muscular system can result in injury. Movements which require muscles to generate high levels of force, with high repetition or at high speed can overload muscles leading to tissue damage. 

Where loading exceeds the tissue strength there is the potential for muscular strain. At a molecular level it can result in microscopic tears in the muscle and fascia. Depending on the degree of the muscular strain a greater or lesser number of fibres are injured which if sufficient can result in a palpable tear in the muscle. 

The site of swelling or the location of tenderness of the area are often indicative of the source of pain. However, often these characteristics of pain do not indicate its origin or cause. However, pain associated with muscle spasm suggests that pain is caused by a muscle disorder. Muscle pain rarely exists in isolation and can also involve ligaments, tendons, and fascia, the soft tissues that connect to muscles.

Muscular Injury – Mechanism of Injury

Acute muscular pain can often result from an individual overexerting themselves by overdoing some form of physical activity. This activity may be a routine weekly activity which is performed with greater speed or force which can overload the muscular system. Alternatively, the injury may result from an unusual activity such as returning to a sporting activity which they have not played for a while or a seasonal change in activity such as an increase in weekend gardening in the spring.

Acute pain is characterised as a normal pain response as a result of tissue damage which may be as a result of thermal, chemical or mechanical trauma. The pain stimulus is proportional to the amount of tissue damage and is relatively time-limited. Acute pain also responds positively to normal pain medication and other conservative therapies. A person typically reports soreness and stiffness in the musculature which is proportional to the extent of tissue damage generated.

Following these situations muscular pain starts during or just after the activity and it is usually obvious which activity led to the overload and resulting muscular pain. Sudden pain onset may also be associated with tissue swelling or bruising which can be immediate or develop over several days.

While muscle pain can often be clearly related to direct injury (trauma), overuse injuries (with high repetition) or rapidly overloaded (strain) it can also be generated by poor postural behaviour and muscle tension when a muscle is held for an extended period in a tense position.

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