Sore muscles are one thing, but if you’re experiencing consistent muscle aches and pains, there may be other things going on, such as nutrient deficiencies and underlying medical conditions. The important first step is identifying what the cause is and then trying some of these helpful tips to soothe the pain away.
The causes and solutions for muscle aches and pains
Whether you’ve overdone it at the gym, been on a long run or just been standing all day, most people have experience stiff joints at one time or another.
But while muscle aches and pains are commonplace, if it is happening to you often or for no apparent reason, there could be an underlying cause.
Lauren Labrique from Healthista has been speaking to the experts to find out why it happens and exactly what can be done about it….
Vitamin D deficiency
Studies have implicated vitamin D deficiency in nonspecific musculoskeletal pain and suggest that supplementation decreases pain in some people, says Dr Deyo Famuboni, a London GP and Healthista blogger.
‘Our bodies are made of cells, which have vitamin D receptors.’ she explains.
‘The receptors, found in muscles, can become hypersensitive in a deficient state and cause soreness.
‘Sun exposure on your arms and legs for 15-20 minutes a day will up your levels of Vitamin D and reduce symptoms of deficiency,’ reveals Dr. Famuboni.
There are also Vitamin D supplements available if it’s cloudy outside.
‘Women can sometimes get general weakness which they feel as aches due to iron deficiency from heavy periods,’ says Dr. Famuboni.
This common cause of muscle soreness can be eased with dietary sources of both iron and vitamin D, such as nuts, beans, and spinach for iron and fish, eggs, and mushrooms for vitamin D.
If you are concerned about these causes and symptoms, it’s worth having your levels checked, she says.
‘Another cause of sore muscles can be stress because when your body releases the stress hormones it causes your muscles to tense ready to fight or run,’ says Dr. Marilyn Glenville, women’s health expert.
‘But if you are under chronic stress then they can be tense all the time because they do not get the release of running or fighting,’ she explains.
Relaxation techniques and certain nutrients can help reduce stress. B vitamins, magnesium, theanine, and Siberian ginseng have all been know to help with relaxation.
Underlying medication conditions
‘Some more serious causes come from inflammatory joint and muscle problems such as polymyalgia rheumatic, arthritis, and mechanical joint problems,’ explains Dr. Famuboni.
An underactive thyroid, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, viral illnesses and certain medications can also result in muscle soreness.
For all of these potential causes a professional opinion is recommended.
Muscle sprains from accidental injury, intense exercise, or manual work often set in 1-2 days after the activity.
‘When we exercise and strain the muscles, microscopic tears are created which the body will then repair in order to build new muscle mass, says Kelly Du Buisson, trainer and Healthista blogger.
‘The more lean muscle the body has the more weight loss or definition. So these tiny tears create soreness and stiffness in the body, which is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS,’ she says.
Eat protein after exercise
‘Make sure you include more protein after a workout or exertion such as fish, beans, eggs and quinoa as your muscles need protein,’ advises leading women’s health expert.
‘Drink more water so that you are not dehydrated and avoid coffee and alcohol as they will cause more dehydration’.
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