Muscles, ligaments & amp; Tendons

Muscle pain - causes and treatment

Muscle pain - causes and treatment

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When the muscles are in pain
Man consists of approximately 656 muscles. These make up 40 percent of body weight. We couldn't live without muscles. For example, up to 70 muscles are involved in laughing - almost unimaginable. Muscle pain (myalgia) can usually affect all muscles, but this is mostly seen in the muscles of the back, shoulders, arms and legs.


There are many possible causes of muscle pain. Everyone knows this uncomfortable pain in connection with sore muscles or also from one-sided stress or overload, which leads to muscle tension that goes hand in hand with muscle pain. Other causes include flu, muscle injuries, cramps, autoimmune diseases, thyroid diseases, fibromyalgia, metabolic diseases, excessive alcohol consumption and some medications.

Everyone knows the sore muscles

Everyone knows muscle soreness, a common cause of muscle pain. The smallest injuries, so-called micro injuries, occur in the muscle fibers during sport. The pain usually does not appear immediately after exercise, but only hours later. The sore muscles often peak on the second day after exercise. If you want to prevent this muscle pain, you should take on unusual loads slowly, do not do new exercises too often, warm up the body before exercising, wear suitable clothing and stretch the muscles slightly before and after.

After exercise, rubbing the muscles with ointments helps to relax the muscles. These contain, for example, lavender oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil. Rubbing with a good St. John's wort oil also helps. It is equally good to supply the affected muscles with a suitable magnesium oil. Or a sauna, immediately after physical exertion, offers a good way to protect yourself from muscle pain. Homeopathic arnica, taken just after exercise, can also relieve the pain somewhat. In the case of sore muscles, the muscles are best protected until the pain has disappeared.

Muscle cramp

Most people are also familiar with cramps such as waking up at night with a calf cramp. This causes massive muscle pain. It is initially no longer possible to fall asleep. A muscle spasm is a sudden, unwanted muscle tension that triggers massive muscle pain. The affected muscle, for example the calf, feels rock hard.

The normal reaction is to massage the muscle so that it loosens a bit again. As a rule, a muscle spasm goes away on its own. The causes of muscle cramps are pregnancy, electrolyte imbalance, overexertion while exercising, varicose veins, alcohol consumption, liver diseases, polyneuropathy and hormonal diseases. To deal with the muscle pain caused by the cramps, the cause should be treated in any case.

The general assessment that the cause of muscle cramps is a magnesium deficiency cannot be confirmed. Although this is a possible cause, it is only actually given in very few cases. If you suffer from a magnesium deficiency, rubbing in with a good magnesium oil or magnesium gel often helps much better than taking it orally. What can also be a relief is taking the Schüßler Salt No. 19 Cuprum arsenicosum. This is a good "anticonvulsant".

Muscle hardening (myogeloses)

Overuse, incorrect posture, stereotypical posture or gentle posture, for example triggered by a herniated disc - all this can lead to muscle hardening. And these are associated with sometimes massive muscle pain. The constant stimulus changes the metabolism in the affected area. By-products are produced which the body can no longer properly remove - an inflammation develops. The affected area hardens painfully.

In order to counteract the myogeloses, an attempt must be made to reduce the causes or to eliminate them. Wrong or exaggerated training, wrong posture at the workplace, possible protective postures - all of this should definitely be reconsidered. In addition, it is important to eat a base-rich diet. Acidification generally contributes to the fact that myogeloses can form more easily and then this muscle hardening does not dissolve.

In a nutshell: everything that is animal is acidic; Vegetables and fruits are basic. The Internet has many lists ready to help you choose the right food. Adequate hydration in the form of still water and herbal tea is also recommended. The Schuessler salts no. 9 sodium phosphoricum and no. 10 sodium sulfuricum help to do something about the acidification and to reduce the muscle pain. Furthermore, the "hot seven" is recommended, at least once a day. For this, 10 pieces of the salt No. 7 Magnesium phosphoricum are poured into hot, boiled water, stirred with a plastic spoon and drunk in sips.

Treatment options for hardened muscles

Regular massages, physiotherapy, heat treatments and stimulation current therapy - all of these are among the treatment options for muscle hardening. It is important that the inflammation that has formed in the tissue and is also responsible for the sometimes massive muscle pain is reduced. If the symptoms are bad, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. These have an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect.

The myogeloses can also be related to psychological problems, which often lead to neck and shoulder tension and muscle pain. Regular relaxation should be considered here. Meditation, yoga, autogenic training, or progressive muscle relaxation are good ways to release the inner tension. Aromatic baths with essential oils such as lavender, lemon balm or rose are also helpful.

Muscle injuries

Muscle injuries can cause massive muscle pain. This includes bruises, strains, a torn muscle or even a muscle tear. These injuries are most common in sports. To prevent this, a sufficient warm-up and the appropriate sports or protective clothing is important. Such injuries can happen especially in sports with rapid changes of direction, such as squash, tennis or football. If opponents are involved, bruises are easier than with sports that are performed alone.

Thyroid disease

The thyroid gland produces the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. These have the most varied tasks in the body. As far as the muscles are concerned, they increase protein consumption, energy production and the rate of tension and relaxation of the muscles. Accordingly, thyroid disorders such as hypo- or hyperthyroidism affect the muscles, which can cause muscle pain.

Autoimmune diseases

With autoimmune diseases, the body is directed against its own tissue and organs. An example of this is SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus. This creates a wide variety of complaints such as fatigue, weight loss, hair loss, lymphatic swelling, joint pain, muscle pain and much more. Another autoimmune disease that can also cause muscle pain is Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disease.


In fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia syndrome, the focus is on pain. These are mainly on tendon attachments and in the muscles. In addition, there are complaints such as sleep disorders, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, feelings of swelling and depressive moods. The muscle pain that occurs can be quite severe. The treatment of fibromyalgia is usually treated only symptomatically. The real cause of this condition is unknown.

Naturopathy tries to see fibromyalgia holistically and to treat it in this way. Therapeutic measures include foot reflexology, acupuncture, anthroposophic medicine and homeopathy. Added to this are phytotherapy and aroma massage.

Metabolic myopathies (metabolic disorders of the muscles)

Every muscle needs energy to perform. In metabolic myopathy, this energy metabolism in the cells of the muscles is disturbed. A distinction is made between disorders of carbohydrate metabolism, fat metabolism, purine metabolism and a defect in the mitochondria (mitochondrial myopathies - mitochondria are the power plants of the cells).

Depending on the severity of the disease, those affected suffer from muscle pain, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, a reduced ability to endurance and protein in the urine. The symptoms are not always present, but appear episodically.

In the treatment of metabolic myopathy, endurance training, a certain diet and additional supplements are recommended.

Muscle inflammation - myositis

Myositis is a rare disease, an inflammation that occurs in the skeletal muscles. The symptoms that occur are loss of strength in the arms and legs, muscle pain and possibly also swallowing disorders and skin symptoms.

The muscle inflammation can be hereditary or can arise from a wide variety of pathogens. This includes viruses, bacteria, parasites and toxins. Depending on the type and type of myositis, cortisone is the method of choice. Immunosuppressants or immunoglobulins may be administered. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are also part of the treatment spectrum.

Flu infection or flu

A flu infection or even the flu is usually accompanied by symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache, general feeling of illness, body aches or muscle pain. With the inflammation that prevails in the body, so-called messenger substances are released, which on the one hand stimulate the immune system, but on the other hand make the pain receptors more sensitive, which means that the pain threshold is lowered. This so-called hyperalgesia is the cause of the unpleasant limb and muscle pain.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a disease that is transmitted by infected ticks. After transmission, the pathogens, the borrelia, multiply first of all in the skin at the puncture site. From there, they migrate further into the body - the Borrelia spread and can attack a wide variety of organs. If not treated, the pathogens can survive for years and cause symptoms again and again.

The first manifestation can be seen at the point of the puncture. This is a circular reddening around the stitch. However, this skin reaction does not necessarily have to occur. The first symptoms often appear in the form of general malaise, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain and much more. Unfortunately, Lyme disease is not immediately considered. In addition, the first symptoms can only appear weeks or months after the sting. Then the nervous system is usually already affected.

Lyme disease is a serious disease that is extremely difficult to treat. There are now Lyme centers that specialize in the therapy of this disease.


In the case of osteoporosis, the interplay between bone build-up and breakdown is disturbed. In the beginning, the disease goes quite unnoticed. Back pain, muscle pain and an increased tendency to fracture are added later.


The well-known symptoms in menopause are hot flashes, sleep disorders, depressed moods, digestive problems and problems with body weight. However, many women also suffer from joint pain and muscle pain at this time. First the progesterone in the woman's body becomes less and then the estrogen. These hormone changes are "to blame" for the symptoms.

Naturopathy has many plants that can help women. Agnus castus (chaste tree), Cimicifuga (black cohosh), lavender, lemon balm, sage, Siberian rhubarb root, Apis mellifica (honey bee) and flaxseed are just a few examples. Furthermore, acupuncture, foot reflexology therapy and the Schuessler salts can serve well.

Medications as causes of muscle pain

Medications that can cause muscle pain include beta blockers, statins (medicines that lower blood lipids), diuretics, neuroleptics, and muscle relaxants that are used to induce inhalation anesthesia.


In summary, as you could read, there are many possible causes of muscle pain. There is not always something bad behind it. For mild muscle pain, the Schüßler salts No. 7 and No. 19 mentioned are definitely worth a try. When used externally, a high-quality magnesium oil or a magnesium gel is a good choice. However, if the muscle pain occurs regularly and / or is very severe, the cause should be clarified by a doctor. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • D. Heuss et al .: Diagnostics and differential diagnosis in myalgia, German Society for Neurology (DGN), (accessed on September 2, 2019), DGN
  • Joseph J. Biundo: Fibromyalgia, MSD Manual, (accessed 02.09.2019), MSD
  • Deschauer M. et al .: S1 guideline for the diagnosis of myopathies, 2016, German Society for Neurology, ed. Guidelines for Diagnostics and Therapy in Neurology, (accessed September 2, 2019), AWMF
  • Alana M. Nevares: Autoimmune Myositis, MSD Manual, (accessed September 2, 2019), MSD
  • Hildegard Gabel, Hans-Peter Gabel: Tick borreliosis, ZAG Verlag, 2015
  • Robert Kopf: Menopause menopause: Treating menopausal symptoms with homeopathy, Schuessler salts and naturopathy, 2017

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