Muscles get a lot of blame for pain. 

Even in our modern society of ‘health’ we are often led to believe that something is WRONG with our muscles when in fact all we need to do is listen to our body’s ‘pain signal‘ and change what we are doing or the way we are doing it.

Read on and let’s see if we can help put muscle pain into perspective for you.


Why do our muscles feel sore?


Muscles have many ‘sensors’

Muscles have many ‘sensors’ that give the brain information about changes or activity going on in that muscle; be that stretch, tension, pressure – this doesn’t have to equate to damage.

If something ‘different’ happens to muscles, it will relay this information back to the brain and it may be processed as some form of pain – sharp, dull, throbbing, aching. It’s our body’s inbuilt warning system to tell us to change what we are doing.


Muscles can become ‘deconditioned’ or weak’

Muscles can become ‘deconditioned’ or weak, especially if they are underused. This can happen if we have stopped exercising for a long time, have reduced our general activity or have been bedridden for long periods due to illness or hospitalisation. This can give our muscles a feeling of fatigue, heaviness and aching.


Muscles can feel tight

Muscles can feel tight: Sometimes using our muscles in a way they are not used to, staying in one position or an uncomfortable posture for long periods can makes the muscles work harder than necessary. They then fatigue really quickly when we do start moving again and as a result feel tight. The ‘sensors’ in our muscles will tell the brain, something is not quite right and pain or discomfort may be felt – this individual experience of discomfort is what we define as ‘tightness‘ or a ‘muscle knot’.


These spots may feel uncomfortable when pressed on, however massage and other manual therapies can provide some short-term benefit in reducing this – increasing the muscle’s capacity and altering the behaviours associated with movement (or lack thereof if we sit all day!!!) though regular exercise is beneficial for more long-lasting changes in muscle tightness.


Muscles can experience DOMS

Muscles can experience DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness: This is muscle pain you feel after a high-intensity workout, increased physical activity from normal, or any activity that places unaccustomed loads on muscle. You may feel dull achiness/soreness after 12 to 24 hours.


The pain you feel is caused by micro-trauma to the tiny fibres within our muscles, which leads to inflammation, swelling, and changes in normal levels of electrolytes and other fluids near the affected muscles. Interestingly, this cycle of exercise-micro-trauma-repair is exactly how our muscles grow and so we can view DOMS as an annoying bi-product of getting stronger and more active. Generally DOMS should not persist beyond a few workouts or at least pain may become more tolerable as we get more used to an exercise program.


Muscles can be overused

Pain can result from using muscles beyond their capacity without sufficient rest periods. This can be from over training at the gym, spending hours in the garden, or even doing repetitive work. Pain may commence as a warning signal from our ‘sensors’, but can progress to more series pathology if symptoms are ignored.


Muscles can be strained/torn

Large tears or even microscopic tears. This can happen with an uncontrolled overstretch or a sudden use of muscles such as a sprint, or even picking up furniture. Pain will occur as bleeding or inflammation of the muscle tissue occurs.



The information provided is of a general nature and reference has not been made to muscle pain due to neurological diseases, cancer or any other illnesses.


Summary: Take Home Message!


If you are experiencing any of these muscle issues, the best thing that you can do is seek help ASAP.
The sooner you attend to muscle pain, the faster it can be resolved.

The sooner you attend to muscle pain, the faster it can be resolved.

The team at Power Physiotherapy is here to help so don’t hesitate to call 9440 6125 and make an appointment.

Why do our muscles feel sore?