Studies have reported that, following the beginning of any new physical activity or exercise, one usually experiences pain in the muscles. This is quite expected initially. But, as the muscles get toned up, the pain gradually disappears. There are other causes of Muscle and Tendon pain if it persists:
A Few Common Causes
The most common cause of muscle and tendon pain include an injury either to the bones, joints, bursae, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves. The cause of this can be either jerking movements, motor vehicle accidents, falls, fractures or dislocations, sprains, strains, etc.
Overuse of a tendon results in tiny tears of the tissue in and around the tendon, known as tendinosis, it is a degenerative condition. These tears in fact reduce the tensile strength of the tendon, and result in its rupture. The pain is usually caused due to the underlying inflammation, referred to as tendinitis; or tendinopathy, which means a combination of both inflammation as well as tiny tears. This sign can also result from an abnormal posture or prolonged immobilization.
Wear and tear to any tendon resulting from overuse or aging, often leads to a tendon injury. This is especially more common amongst persons who perform the same movements over and over again in their occupation, for example typists. Moreover, ligament injuries are more common in tendons, which are weakened in the long run. The best example of this is Achilles tendinitis, which is caused by the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscles with the heel bone.
Fibromyalgia, which is more common in young and middle-aged females, is of an unknown etiology. But certain risk factors such as, improper sleep, recurring strains, any sort of trauma, and continual exposure to dampness and cold are found to contribute in the development of fibromyalgia.
Mental stress may also be a contributing factor. Some persons affected with fibromyalgia may also have an underlying connective tissue disorder, like rheumatoid arthritis or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, commonly abbreviated as SLE. Sometimes, this condition may be triggered by viral or other infection like Lyme disease, or flu; or by trauma.
Myalgia Induced by Drugs
Myalgia, which is referred to as muscle pain may occur as a side effect following the administration of certain drugs such as, ACE inhibitors. These are usually used in the treatment of hypertension, blood cholesterol level etc.
Electrolyte imbalance can also result in muscle pain. Conditions such as low potassium levels and hypocalcemia, which means lowered calcium levels in the blood, may result in pain in the muscles.
Thickening, swelling and tightening of the flexible tissue which surrounds the shoulder joint, results in a condition known as frozen shoulder. In this condition, any movement of the shoulder joint becomes painful.
Metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus can cause frozen shoulder, the etiology of which is still unknown. Studies have reported that frozen shoulder, can also result from certain diseases such as cardiac and pulmonary diseases; and hypersecretion of thyroid gland, etc and results in acute pain in the muscle and tendons.
Cramps can affect any muscles of the body, but are usually common in the calf muscles. Cramps of the calf muscles are usually an indication of low calcium levels, irregularity in physical exercise, and electrolyte imbalance. Muscle cramps lasting longer than a few minutes can also be an indication of other medical ailments, like stenosis of the arteries.
Muscle and tendon pain can be caused by a condition, known as Dupuytren’s contracture, the etiology of which is not yet clear. In this condition, one or more fingers become bent towards the palm of the hand, and motion of these fingers become restricted. It usually involves the muscles and tendons of the little finger and the ring finger.
Tendon enthesopathy is a diseased condition of a tendon, an abnormality which is associated with the attachment of a tendon with a bone. The name of this disease is in fact has originated from the word, Enthesis, which means the point of attachment between a tendon and a bone.
Tenosynovitis is an inflammatory condition of the synovial membrane, which lines the tendon’s sheath; and this may be caused by any sort of infection or trauma such as surgical suffering.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually occurs in the wrist when the tendons become enlarged and exerts extra pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain in the muscles and tendons of the thumb.
This syndrome is usually caused by repetitive movements, such as typing on a keyboard.
Ganglion cyst is an abnormal flow of fluids surrounding the joints that can develop on the hand, foot or wrist, and this is most common amongst athletes such as tennis players or runners. Ganglion cysts cause extra pressure on the surrounding muscles, resulting in pain and tenderness.
Tennis elbow, which is referred to as lateral epicondylitis, or lateral epicondylalgia, causes pain in the muscles and tendons of the lateral part of the elbow, and is most common amongst tennis players. But, this condition is also found to be associated with other sports such as swimming and climbing; and also aongst manual laborers which usually carry heavy weight overhead.
Nociceptive pain is an acute pain which one experiences following any surgery or removal of a tooth, and is caused by the damage caused to the involved muscles, tendons, organs, or skin. Similarly, any surgical procedure can also cause muscle and tendon pain, while the incision or closure of the wound. For example, following a Caesarean section, a surgical procedure of delivery of the baby in women, can cause pain of the muscles and tendons which were incised during the surgery.
This is a condition in which the heart muscles become thick enlarged and loses the elasticity, and become rigid. Cardiomyopathy may be of an acquired or inherited etiology and is the cause of acute pain in muscles near heart.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin D in children causes a disease known as rickets, the first symptom of which includes muscle pain. Similary, a deficiency of vitamin D causes osteomalacia, which means softening of the bones in adults; and also causes muscle pain.
Housemaid’s knee is caused by the inflammation of the prepatellar bursa, and causes pain of the muscles and tendons present in the anterior part of the knee joint.