Understanding Muscle Pain: What is it? Common Muscle Injuries, Their Causes, and Treatments

Understanding Muscle Pain – Common Injuries, Causes, and Treatments

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Suffering from muscle pain can be discomforting and restrictive to your ability to move freely. Unfortunately, almost everyone experiences aching muscles from time to time, making everyday tasks such as climbing stairs, getting out of bed, and lifting fallen objects painful. 

There are a lot of convenient solutions that can help you to correctly treat muscle pain, such as pain balms, heat patches, hot water bottles and so on. But before you treat your injury you need to correctly ascertain the source and cause of the injury. So let us understand what exactly is muscle pain and talk about some common muscle injuries and their causes.

What is muscle pain?

Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is a symptom of an injury, infection, disease, or other health issue. You may experience a deep, steady ache or a series of sharp pains. Some people experience muscle pain throughout their bodies, while others experience it only in certain areas such as the back and neck. Muscle injuries affect everyone differently.

Because muscle tissue is in nearly every part of your body, this type of pain can be felt almost anywhere. But, there's no single root cause for muscle pains and aches. 

While overuse or injury are common causes of muscle discomfort, there are other possible sources for ongoing distress. Here are some common muscle injuries that you may experience while going about your day-to-day life, and how they can be treated.

Pulled muscles

What is a pulled muscle?

A pulled muscle, also known as a muscle strain, occurs when a tendon or muscle is overstretched or torn. A tendon is a kind of fibrous tissue cord that connects the muscles in our body to the bones. This usually occurs due to- 

  • not warming up properly before physical activity
  • poor flexibility
  • poor conditioning
  • overexertion and fatigue

Signs of a pulled muscle

You will usually feel the signs of muscle strain in your body, such as: 

  • sudden onset of pain
  • soreness around the affected body part
  • limited range of movement
  • bruising or discoloration
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • weakness

Pulled muscles may occur suddenly (acute) or develop slowly over time (chronic). Although an acute muscle strain can happen in any muscle, it is more common in your lower back, neck, legs and knees. 

Chronic strains can be caused by sports and activities that involve repetitive movements, such as rowing, tennis, or running. Additionally, standing or sitting in an awkward position for long periods of time can cause chronic strains.

Pulled muscles are usually not severe and can be treated at home with proper care and guidance.

  • Firstly, reduce inflammation and pain by cooling the area with an ice pack. But, always remember to use a soft cloth or any other protective layer between your skin and the ice.
  • Next, make sure you compress the pulled muscle area on your affected leg or back with a Hansaplast Crepe Bandage. Choose the right-sized out of the four offerings Hansaplast has and wrap it tightly around the distressed body part to relieve yourself of muscle pain. However, make sure you don't wrap it too tightly as it may restrict blood flow and cause more damage. If it causes numbness, redness or itchiness on the swelling, loosen the bandage and let it relax for a while. 
  • For chronic muscle pulls, heat therapy is the best way to relieve pain. Apply heat plasters like Hansaplast Belladonna Heat Plasters that induce warmth around the affected area with the power of Ayurveda in Belladonna extracts. The heat from this plaster reduces muscle soreness and improves circulation to the injured area.

Muscle sprain

While many people mistake sprains and muscle strains as interchangeable terms, they are actually two different injuries. In a muscle strain it is the tendon that is affected, in sprains, it is the ligament. Ligaments are fibrous tissues found in your joints, they connect two bones together, unlike tendons, which connect the muscle to the bone.


When the ligament is stretched beyond its capacity, it causes a muscle sprain, it may even develop a tear. Commonly occurring types of sprains:

  1. Ankle sprain: Ankle sprains are the most commonly occuring muscle sprains. They are usually a result of the foot turning awkwardly inwards when you land on it the wrong way.
  2. Wrist sprain: Sprained wrists are an injury that is incurred when you fall and your weight lands on your outstretched hand. 
  3. Knee sprain: Knee sprains are less common, they occur if you’ve taken a hard hit to the knee or twisted it suddenly in a jarring manner.

How to efficiently treat a muscle sprain

In the case of muscle sprains, the RICE treatment can be used for relief and further care. The method is fairly simple and can be carried out at home.

Rest- Relax the affected area and take some rest

Ice- Ice the affected area for about 20 minutes, every two hours 

Compress- Use a suitable dressing, such as a crepe bandage, to compress the area

Elevate- Elevate the affected area above chest level as often as possible in the first 24 hours

You can use a sleeve brace to stabilise and support the injured joint. It protects the area from sudden jolts and provides necessary compression for faster healing.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

If you’ve experienced the sore, aching pain that sets into your muscles 24 hours after exercising, then you are already well-acquainted with DOMS. While most people have experienced this phenomena, not everybody knows that there's a name to it.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness occurs due to overuse of muscles after a period of inactivity. Usually, it goes away by itself and does not require any medical intervention.

 DOMS is a normal part of any physical activity, even other than exercising. However, it can definitely be avoided by taking certain steps such as:

  • Warming up and cool down exercises before and after you exercise 
  • Gradually phasing yourself into new workout routines
  • Staying hydrated throughout the day

Experiencing this kind of muscle soreness does not mean you should stop exercising, that will only be counterintuitive to the problem. You can continue with your regular exercise routine even in spite of DOMS. Just take care to not overstep your body’s limitations.


If you wish to ease the muscle pain, you can try the following options-

  • A light massage
  • Pain relief balms
  • Heat plasters
  • A hot water bath

Abdominal strain

Experiencing pain in your abdominal muscles? It could be because of abdominal strain due to overuse or strenuous exercise. You might feel pain while sprinting, laughing, coughing or sneezing. The pain will manifest in the following ways:

  • Sudden, sharp pangs
  • Pain while stretching
  • Stiffness
  • Cramps or spasms
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

The treatment for this is as simple as compressing the area, practising light stretches and resting. If you play a sport that often engages the abdominal muscles, such as tennis or football, you are at a greater risk of incurring abdominal strains. However, abdominal muscle injuries can be avoided by practising light stretches and strengthening exercises daily.

Muscular spasms and cramps

Muscle cramps or spasms occur when your muscles forcibly contract in an uncontrollable and painful manner. They are of a short duration and do not last more than a couple of minutes. However, they can be quite inconvenient and cause discomfort, especially as they tend to occur at night as well, while you are asleep.There is no specific reason behind why these spasms occur. They affect different parts of the body such as-

  • The feet
  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Hands 
  • Legs 

In most cases, the contractions will subside by themselves. You can try to relieve the pain by massaging or stretching the affected area. In case of muscle spasms in the leg or foot, put some weight on them by taking a few steps. Regular exercise and staying hydrated can help prevent muscular spasms.

Other causes behind muscle pain

In most cases, muscle pain is usually due to one of these 3 factors-

  • Overuse
  • Minor Injury
  • Fatigue or tension

This kind of pain is easily treated and does not cause any serious problems long term. However, sometimes an underlying disease could be behind the pain. Here are some diseases that cause muscle pain as one of the symptoms-

  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscular dystrophy.
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

In such cases the pain will affect your entire body instead of a specific region. Additionally, muscle pain can also be the side effect of some medicine or treatment you are taking, such as chemotherapy. If pain persists for an unnatural period of time with no apparent underlying cause, consult a doctor immediately.

Before treating muscle pain, take the time to take all factors into account and find the root cause of the pain. Once you know what the cause is, you can treat it efficiently. If you are unable to get rid of the pain even after treatment, seek medical advice. With proper care and guidance, all kinds of muscle pain can be easily resolved.


Please note that the above recommendations are general care tips. Consult a health care professional in case of any uncertainty around wound treatment and healing.

Always see your doctor if a wound is deep, bleeding profusely or shows signs of infection. For diabetic patients especially, proper wound care holds the utmost importance. Do not hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or your podiatrist, even when it comes to minor wounds and cuts – especially if they’re on your feet.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Although compiled with great care, it is not a substitute for professional advice. If you have or suspect a health problem, consult your doctor immediately. 

For further information regarding Hansaplast products, please contact us via email at customer.care@bdfindia.com.