Muscle aches and muscle injuries

Muscle pain: Overall, an intact body has 656 muscles. So in the course of a lifetime to get a muscle injury is not so outlandish. Very often it hits the back, neck and shoulder. But other areas of the musculature in the body, such as Legs or arm can be affected. Learn more now! Complaints✓ Causes✓ Origination✓ Warning signals✓ Measures✓ Repair✓ healing✓

What are the causes of muscle aches and muscle injuries?

Irritation, strains, cracks and tears are different names of a muscle injury – the difference is only in the extent of the injury. An irritation or strain is not as severe as a tear or tear.

How does a muscle irritation develop?

A muscle irritation arises as soon as the muscle is overwhelmed by the force acting on it. This often happens at high speed motion execution, but also at continuous contractions. It usually happens at the end of a workout, when the muscles can not muster as much strength as at the beginning of the workout.

Irritations are more likely to occur under the following conditions:

  • With already prior irritation due to existing muscle weakness
  • For athletic activity after static stretching, as the desensitization of the muscle spindles could have led to too much muscle length
  • In the elderly, as the muscles lose their suppleness with age
  • In the absence of muscular flexibility and mobility, since the muscles can not extend sufficiently, especially during fatigue without irritation
  • Towards the end of training, when increasing fatigue prevents adequate muscle contractions
  • In physically weak people, because weak muscles are irritated faster in a stress
  • In impingements – the innervating nerve is impaired, resulting in a lower muscle development

An injury to the muscle – especially with ongoing muscle pain – is caused by the eccentric muscle work. This also affects muscle strains. They arise during eccentric contraction. Although it seems that the strain occurs during the concentric phase of muscle work, it actually happens during the eccentric phase (in the transitional phase) or when the force is so strong that the muscle tears.

What is a muscle strain?

Most strains – except for massive injuries – occur during an eccentric contraction. Back thigh muscle strains occur when the knee moves forward or when the foot touches the floor as the hamstring muscles lengthen.

Strains of the back muscles like to arise when deadlifting, as the spinal extensors lengthen. Biceps or strains of the shoulder muscles arise when lowering from the highest point of a pull-up. In football, the strains are created after a hard knockdown when the leg swings forward and up. It is important to know the risk factors for a strain.

Warning signs of muscle irritation

They should be careful with high training intensities, if they are particularly prone to it. Athletes with known susceptibilities or previous muscle irritation should take precautions. Warm up sufficiently before training with high intensities and stretch statically only at the end. The only exception are necessary flexibility exercises for a perfect technical execution. These should be preferred for security reasons.

Here are some warning signs of muscle irritation:

  • Pain in the muscle during stretching and contraction
  • Sudden, stinging pain
  • The pain usually affects the muscle belly.
  • Strong irritation can cause swelling and / or bruising.
  • A crack may cause a dent or a gap, or the muscle will tear apart completely.

Muscle injuries are classified on a scale from grade I to III:

Grade I refers to small muscle fiber tears. There is little or no swelling, no bruising, but pain in the tissues. The strength of the pain can vary, depending on the personal perception. The pain may only occur in eccentric movements and not in concentric ones. With light pressure on the affected area it feels uncomfortable to slightly painful.

Grade II describes partial tears of the muscle. Swelling is likely and bruising is expected as the fasciae are injured so much that blood leaks into the tissue. Concentric and eccentric movement and pressure pain. The muscle reacts with a limited range of motion and hardening to protect the injured tissue.

Grade III is complete or partial tears of the muscle with swelling and bruising. A dent or gap in the crack area is likely. In this case, compression and immediate medical help is advised.
In case of grade III injury, seek emergency department immediately (also recommended for grade II). The following notes only apply to cases of grade I and mild grade II.

Measures for muscle pain – acute or inflammatory phase

Strain is very different from tendinitis. A muscle injury is an acute event, while an overuse, such as tendopathy, manifests as a sensation of discomfort or pain without separation of tissue structures. Measures to correct a strain focus primarily on a rehabilitation of the tissue, because of the surrounding structures.
If you lack strength, you need to become stronger. When your muscles are shortened, it is essential to improve your flexibility through static stretching and / or progressive muscle relaxation following your workout.

The older you are, the more important it is to warm up sufficiently before each workout.

In addition, you should plan all static strains at the end of the workout, unless it is preparing for an optimal technique. Always pay attention to exact movement execution. Workouts under pressure of time focus on improving the technique, not the shorter time. Permanent technique training is the key to success in any sporting field. You do not do a favor when you skip exercises just to look better or to feel better. Rather, they increase the risk of injury.

Important steps to cure the muscle tissue

The acute phase of any injury is characterized by inflammatory tissue damage. Swelling and bruising may occur – if at least one of them is present, it is crucial to take all appropriate steps to heal the tissue:

  • Application of heat: Immediately possible, as long as there is no swelling. Circulation increase is good. There are different opinions on the immediate use of heat in case of injury, so you can also cool as previously recommended. In case of swelling you need compression.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Consult your doctor. Mostly, ibuprofen or similar products are prescribed for grade I and II. Follow your doctor’s recommendations, but be aware that these medicines can cause stomach problems if taken long-term.
  • Stay in motion without provoking pain, to prevent muscle hardening and to prevent pain sensitization. Avoid triggering pain and, above all, re-stretching the strain.
  • Self-massage: In the case of a massive swelling, spread it out to the heart. This speeds up the swelling and the healing process. The massage should be gentle and superficial.

Repair and building phases in case of muscle pain

These two phases are generally considered separately, but can also run concurrently with a careful approach. Now the body repairs the damage that is repairable, breaks down destroyed tissue, forms scar tissue and new connective tissue. This phase begins within 48-96 hours after an injury. If the swelling has gone down and the tissue feels better when you are moving, you are in this phase. Continue to be careful to avoid re-injury to the healing tissue:

  • Continue to work with heat: it increases blood circulation, relaxes muscles and improves mobility. Keep moving in the painless area.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Continue taking as far as necessary for pain and severe inflammation.
  • Keep the self-massage.
  • Complete mobility exercises primarily to relax the muscles. Massage deeper into the painless area. Then do flexibility exercises to increase the range of motion. Stop stretching before the pain and also move the affected body as much as possible.

A program for the repair and construction phase could look like this:

  • Applying heat to affected muscles (10-15 min.)
  • Massage of the same (10-15 min.)
  • Agility training to maintain and slightly improve the range of motion (5-10 min.)

Resuming Exercises: As with tendinopathy, they start with light weights for proper movement control so as not to tug the muscle again. Go slowly: irritations can occur quickly.

Perform isolated movements as far as they can exclude renewed irritation of the affected muscle. Make a few sets of 15-25 WH and light weight. Target the pace 5121 (similar to tendopathy), focusing on slow eccentric and controlled concentric sections with pauses. Fast weight gain is not advisable.

Pulling in the muscle

Feel even the slightest pull in the muscle, take back the burden. It is to be formed more resistance by a high repetition rate, since the tissue is very susceptible to injury in the tired state.

For all non-isolable injuries (such as a lower back strain), use isometric exercises. Squats without weight, spinal extensors (hyperextension) or very light deadlifts or good mornings are good. Back muscle straightening can also be done with the help of carefully executed Inverted Back Straighteners.

In most cases, the isolated exercises can be performed almost daily, provided that the intensity remains low and progress is increasing day by day. Exercise extensively without fast increase. Be careful, it will cost you a lot more recovery time if the muscle gets irritated again.
Work progressively with isometric exercises with increasing intensity.

If the area is sufficiently strong, you will return to light complex exercises. Then increase the intensity there and move on to your full workout. The progress is individually different. Slowly approach.

Preventive measures against muscle injuries

Preventive measures: As already mentioned, the likelihood of a muscle injury is significantly greater if such an injury was previously present. The following are a few tips on how to anticipate this: The most important thing is to improve mobility and flexibility, which you should incorporate during warm-up and warm-up, along with gentle tissue work such as foam roller and / or self-massage. Stretch dynamically and statically when it fits.

Next, you should strengthen your muscles against injuries. It is known that most injuries occur in eccentric movements. Even so, the muscles just become more resistant through repeated eccentric work. The corresponding model is the popping sarcomere theory. It states that during muscle extension during eccentric work, individual sarcomeres overstretch resulting in damage.

Excessive or larger sarcomere overexpansion in a particular region is considered a strain, but the body responds to the micro-injury by building additional sarcomeres during the inflammatory phase of the healing process. By focusing on slow eccentric exercises, the muscle becomes less susceptible to injury, which is especially true in exercise programs or high-speed sports.

Strain after sprint

A sprinter with a hamstring or groin strain should focus on eccentric hamstrings (6-10 sec. High repetition negative phase). The athlete thus improves his muscular resistance, while he builds the injured muscle back to full capacity. Then you can continue with more complex exercises such as deadlifting, good mornings, and similar exercises that emphasize the eccentric part (6-10 sec.). First, there must be enough force before doing explosive exercises. Weight should be slowly supplemented with perfect technical execution.


Grade I and Grade 2 muscle injuries are easy to heal, while Grade II requires more attention. Treat everyone the same, even if each healing phase takes longer. At grade III, a specialist must be consulted.
Sufficient patience and discipline in performing the above-mentioned therapies is crucial. Consider this phase as a learning process, paying attention to your body.

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