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If Your Muscles Hurt Here Is Why

Bryan and College Station Chiropractor Dr. David Bailey, a Board Certified Chiropractic Orthopedist notes that as people age, they start to grumble more of discomforts in their muscles and also joints. They appear to stiffen up with age, and such common tasks as bending over for the morning paper could send bolts of pain through their body.

Such discomfort can be so much of a problem that people begin to be sure it begins deep in their bones. However the real cause of stiffness and also soreness exists not in the joints or bones, based on research at the Johns Hopkins Medical, but in the muscular tissues and connective tissues that help move and stabilize the joints.

Flexibility is the medical term used to describe the range of a joint's motion from full motion in one direction to full movement in the other. The greater the range of motion, the more flexible the joint.

If you bend forward at the hips and touch your toes with your fingertips, you have good flexibility, or excellent movement of the hip joints. But can you bend over easily with a very little expense of power and force? The exertion needed to flex a joint is equally as crucial as its range of motion.

Various aspects limit the flexibility and ease of movement in different joints as well as muscles. In the elbow joint and also knee, the bony structure itself establishes a definite limit. In various other joints, such as the ankle, hip, and back, the soft tissue-- muscle and ligamants and fascia-- limit the motion possible.

Think of an old and rusty gate. It is hard to open, it takes lots of force to push the gate open because of rusted and stiff hinges. It creaks, groans, sqweeks, squawks, screeches, and makes all sorts of sounds because it is tight and stiff and the parts do not glide smoothly because of the friction caused by the rust.

The same is true for our joints if we let them degenerate. That loss of motion causes snap, crackle and pop sounds every time the joint is moved. Not only that, but we have loss of movement and pain if we try to move beyond the restricted limit.

The use it or lose it principle is at play here. With reduced use comes a constriction of movement dur to biochemical changes in the soft tissue. Normal flexible tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Scar tissue is less flexible and more painful. Once scar tissue sets in, it does not go away. It stays permanently.

Pain in muscles come about these ways it is believed by medical scientists.

1. Too much exercise

Have you always believed on the saying, No pain, no gain? If you do, then, it is not so surprising if you have already experienced sore muscles.

The problem with most people is that they exercise too much thinking that it is the fastest and the surest way to lose weight. Until they ache, they tend to ignore their muscles and connective tissue, even though they are what quite literally holds the body together.

2. Aging and inactivity

Connective tissue binds muscle to bone by tendons, binds bone to bone by ligaments, and covers and unites muscles with sheaths called fasciae. With age, the tendons, ligaments, and fasciae become less extensible. The tendons, with their densely packed fibers, are the most difficult to stretch. The easiest are the fasciae. But if they are not stretched to improve joint mobility, the fasciae shorten, placing undue pressure on the nerve pathways in the muscle fasciae. Many aches and pains are the result of nerve impulses traveling along these pressured pathways.

3. Immobility

Sore muscles or muscle pain can be excruciating, owing to the bodys reaction to a cramp or ache. In this reaction, called the splinting reflex, the body automatically immobilizes a sore muscle by making it contract. Thus, a sore muscle can set off a vicious cycle pain.

First, an unused muscle becomes sore from exercise or being held in an unusual position. The body then responds with the splinting reflex, shortening the connective tissue around the muscle. This cause more pain, and eventually the whole area is aching. One of the most common sites for this problem is the lower back.

4. Spasm theory

In the medical physiology laboratory at the University of Southern California, researchers have set out to learn more about this cycle of pain and spasm.

Using precise medical instruments, they measured electrical activity in the muscles. The researchers knew that normal, well-relaxed muscles produce no electrical activity, whereas, muscles that are not fully relaxed show considerable activity. The amount of electrical activity at rest is important. Normal muscle are quiet electrically. Irritated muscles are firing off electrical impulses at random.

In one experiment, the researchers measured these electrical signals in the muscles of persons with athletic injuries, first with the muscle immobilized, and then, after the muscle had been stretched.

In almost every case, exercises that stretched or lengthened the muscle diminished electrical activity and relieved pain, either totally or partially.

These experiments led to the spasm theory, an explanation of the development and persistence of muscle pain in the absence of any obvious cause, such as traumatic injury.

According to this theory, a muscle that is overworked or used in a strange position becomes fatigued and as a result, sore muscles.

Hence, it is extremely important to know the limitations and capacity of the muscles in order to avoid sore muscles. This goes to show that there is no truth in the saying, No pain, no gain. Take your workout slowly at first to avoid injury. Increase the intensity step by step and get supervsion from an expert. This will make it less likely to suffer injury.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article is intended to be used as a substitute for advice of a physician. Do not modify your diet, exercises, or medications without first seeking the advice of a physician. Information on this site is for information purposes only. No claims have been approved by the FDA unless otherwise indicated.

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