Muscle pain: What causes it and what can I do about it?

Muscle pain occurs when you overload the muscles in your body. This usually happens during exercise because the muscles are used intensively. Muscle pain is divided into a number of different categories. Sometimes muscle balm is used to treat this condition. However, muscle balm only works on the surface of the skin. Warming up before exercising can actually reduce the chance of muscle soreness. What other ways can I reduce the risk of muscle pain? What is a muscle strain?

muscle strain

  • Types of muscle pain
  • Warm-up & cool-down
  • Muscle balm
  • Peace

Types of muscle pain

The scientific name for muscle pain is ‘myalgia’. Muscle pain can be divided into two different categories. You may suffer from ‘early muscle pain’ or ‘late muscle pain’.

Early muscle soreness

Early muscle pain occurs during or shortly after exercise. If you exercise intensively, there is an increased presence of lactic acid. Lactic acid is created when glucose is converted into energy. This waste product can be abundant in the body when the liver does not have enough time to process the waste product. This causes your muscles to become acidic. However, it has not been scientifically proven that this causes the feeling of muscle pain.

Delayed muscle pain

Delayed muscle pain only occurs at least a day after you have done a lot of effort (usually 24 to 48 hours). It occurs due to small muscle tears that occur due to exercise. These muscle tears are not harmful to health. The body automatically ensures that the cracks are repaired. Additional muscle fibers are also created than were originally present. There may be inflammation if the muscle pain does not go away after a week. In this case it is recommended to consult a doctor.

Muscle strain

A muscle strain does not fall into the above categories and usually occurs due to an incorrect movement. This can occur after a fall, an unnatural movement or other movement that could cause an injury. A muscle strain can cause pain in the affected muscles, just like ‘normal muscle pain’. This may involve a sprain, strain and/or tear in the muscles.

Warm-up & cool-down

A warm-up and cool-down can ensure that your muscles remain flexible. In addition, it can sometimes prevent muscle pain. These slow and less intense exercises promote blood circulation. This ensures that waste products such as lactic acid and ammonia are removed more efficiently.

Muscle balm

Muscle balm makes you feel like your muscles are warming up. However, the balm ensures that only a thin layer of the skin is heated by 33 degrees. This stimulates blood circulation on the surface, but has no direct effect on the muscles. There is still a layer of fat between the muscles and the skin that the muscle balm cannot penetrate. Muscles have a temperature of approximately 37 degrees, which is 4 degrees warmer than the effect of the muscle balm on the surface of the skin. However, some muscle rubs are anti-inflammatory which promotes recovery. Some painkillers can also have an anti-inflammatory effect.


The warm feeling of muscle balm can only reduce the painful sensation of muscle pain, making it seem as if the muscle balm has a direct influence on the muscles. The disadvantage of this is that an athlete is less able to listen to the pain signals from his muscles and therefore has an increased risk of injuries. The athlete overloads his muscles when he continues to exercise.


It is important to get enough rest so that your muscles have time to recover. You can stimulate blood circulation by occasionally doing light stretching exercises. This can ensure a faster recovery. Sufficient sleep is also very important, as your muscles recover extra quickly during the night’s sleep.