The Muscle Whizperer

Intuitive Response to the Manifestation of Pain

What Are the Basic Elements That Cause Muscular Pain?

muscular pain
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When suffering from muscular pain conditions, our natural inclination is to stop moving or limit movement as much as possible. This is because it hurts to move.

However, in the case of most other types of muscular pain, especially stress or tension; that is the opposite of what you should be doing. The reason is that there’s a little war going on in your muscles.

Two Antagonists

In physiology, a muscle that acts in opposition to another is an antagonist. In other words, there is a muscle that contracts and an opposing muscle that extends as a result. This is called anabolic and catabolic action.

The anabolic action is what builds up the muscle and the catabolic action is what tears it down. When there is a lack of movement, the muscles get over contracted. They are easily strained or pulled because there is an insufficient amount of extension. This results in muscular pain.

If the muscles are getting too relaxed or slack from lack of activity, it’s a sign that the catabolic side is winning the war. When muscles are breaking down there’s more lactic acid sitting in the muscles.

The presence of lactic acid means there is a shift in the ph levels in the muscles, into a more acidic environment. Since the body functions best in an alkaline environment, this shift is a precursor to pain.


Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that comes into the muscles every 20 minutes. So within that time span, if you haven’t moved, the cortisol hardens. This hardening during catabolic breakdown continues to happen as long as you are stationary and not moving. Thus, your muscles get weaker, and harder, resulting in muscular pain.

The difference between cortisol and cortisone is that cortisone is a metabolite; meaning it is a byproduct produced by cortisol due to metabolism. In other words, action – movement.

After being stationary for quite some time, this catabolic process starts to cause muscular pain. The pain happens because the muscles become stiff and tight due to more and more lactic acid, or excessive hydrogen build up in the muscle and the hardening that results from the cortisol. Sudden movement after a lengthy amount of this buildup, will cause soreness and muscular pain.


Likewise, in the case of something like frozen shoulder, the muscles have locked due to both lack of movement and the cycle of lactic acid and cortisol release described above. With frozen shoulder, there is both excessive overuse of certain muscles in the hands, the resulting tension buildup, and a lack of sufficient movement resulting in severe pain.

Frozen shoulder often incorporates the neck and back as well. It is referred to as an RMI or repetitive motion injury. It tends to happen to many people that consistently utilize a computer for hours at a time without getting up and moving frequently.

Activities like frequent computer use or any type of fine motor manipulation in which you to use your hands a lot; can cause a buildup that travels up the arms and can eventually lead into a frozen shoulder or carpal tunnel situation.

Movement Is Necessary

When this type of injury occurs; movement is the last thing you’re thinking about, because it’s excruciatingly painful to move. The shoulder is involved in almost everything that you do. Because this type of injury locks the shoulder or the wrist in the case of carpal tunnel; any sort of movement is painful.

However, movement is exactly what is needed. Otherwise, lactic acid will cause those muscles to be totally locked up.

Deep Tissue massage is something that definitely helps a condition like this because depending on the technique utilized; it can break up fascia, muscle knots, and scar tissue. Additionally, a lot of stretching is needed to get the muscles fluid and moving again.


With a condition like Bursitis and Arthritis, the pain condition is amplified by inflammation. Any time the suffix “itis,” is involved, it means that inflammation is present, regardless of the condition.

Bursitis is a painful, inflammatory condition in the shoulder. “The bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs found near joints. They act as a cushion between moving parts in the joint to stop muscles, bones, and tendons from rubbing together.”

Most arthritis is the result of muscular restrictions in the joints and is sometimes accompanied by inflammation. The tendons get restricted. This is primarily because people live a lifestyle that promotes contraction, not extensions. Over time, this adds up into a locked up situation for the tendons.

When this occurs in the body, the first goal is to reduce the amount of inflammation. One of the best ways to attack inflammation is to reduce the intake of inflammatory foods in your diet. Then, increase foods that combat inflammation.


If there is an injury, then the R.I.C.E method is recommended. It means Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation. So while resting, you’ll want to begin eliminating inflammatory foods, and begin your compressions with ice; as well as keeping the injured body part elevated to assist with blood flow.

You don’t want to use heat if inflammation is present, because inflammation is already bringing heat, and you don’t want to amplify that situation, as it can add “flame” to, or intensify your muscular pain condition.


Many people underestimate the power of stretching. They think that 5-15 minutes is sufficient stretching time for their entire body when they go to a gym.  So after devoting such a short time period to the extension of their muscles; they then devote 45-90 minutes to contracting their muscles.

How balanced is this action? When one considers that most injuries and muscular pain results from over-contraction, this really doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Considering that every movement in our lives causes us to contract;
it sounds pretty foolish, doesn’t it? Plus, working out with weights amplifies and triples the contraction that is already a daily occurrence in every muscular pain problem. But, this is what people do because they haven’t realized how imbalanced their lives and habits are.

Imbalance causes pain.

However, proper stretching is a powerful medium to assist with releasing restricted muscles and maintaining an overall healthy condition. It behooves everyone to learn more about the benefits of stretching and to incorporate it into their lifestyles to promote greater health, and wellness, and muscular balance, which will help them to stay pain-free.


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