Skip to content

What Happens To Muscles To Make Them Hurt



As people age they usually notice that their joints are stiff and it hurts to do some everyday tasks like pick up the morning paper from off the driveway. A common belief is that they just have arthritis in theri joints and that is a normal part of getting older. Yet the actual source of tightness and also soreness lies not in the joints or bones, but based on research study at the respected Johns Hopkins Medical School, in the soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, and fascia), before the joints are affected by arthritic degeneration.



Click here to discover more about muscles and ligaments from Bryan and College Station Chiropractor Dr. David Bailey who is a Board Certified Chiropractic Orthopedist.

Flexibility is the general and clinical term used to explain the degree to which a joint moves throughout the entire path of it's planes of motion. The higher the range of motion, the more versatile the joint becomes to be used for bodily activity. The joint is also less susciptible to injury if it is flexible.



Flexible joints allow for effortless and pain-free movement.



Different factors limit the ramge of motion of the various joints. In the elbow joint and also knee, the bony structure itself establishes the end point of motion. In other joints, such as the ankle, hip, and also low back, the soft tissue-- muscular tissue and tendons and ligaments and fascia are the limiting factors primarily.



Hence, if people do not regularly stretch their muscular and other soft tissues to their maximum normal ROM, gradual loss of mobility will occur due to scar tissue. That makes the joint less useful and more likely to get injured.



However, other factors trigger sore muscles. Here are some of them:



1. Excessive Aggressive 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. Muscle Changes Due To Aging



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. Immobilization



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 their performance laboratory at the University of Southern California, researchers have set out to learn more about this cycle of muscle pain and loss of ROM.



They measured electrical activity in the muscles. The researchers knew that normal, well-relaxed muscles produce little or no electrical activity, whereas, muscles that are not fully relaxed show excess activity.



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, NTake it easy at first to avoid injury. You will enjoy your program more and will stick with it.



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.

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry

Add Comment

Form options