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June 18, 2018  |  Login
Muscle Aches
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

You might experience back soreness after a long day playing with the kids, have aching shoulders after overdoing it in the swimming pool, or feel calf pains during the night. Occasional muscle aches and cramps often just accompany the rigors of life. They are rarely a cause to worry.

Muscle aches can affect an active child, as well as a sedentary child who sits in front of the television playing video games and watching programs. The pain often occurs when muscles are overused and pulled or strained, particularly after a vigorous workout that didn't follow a warm-up or stretching session. The pain can range from mild to severe and usually dissipates after a few restful days. Lingering or recurrent pain, especially when accompanied by a fever, decreased muscular strength, or joint swelling, could suggest a severe strain, possibly injury.

The feeling of a muscle turning into a knot indicates a muscle cramp. Muscle cramps could afflict any child, regardless of fitness or diet. Heat cramps, which are common to the calves, the thighs, and the abdomen, can strike a person who exercises in hot weather or a hot gymnasium and who needs water. Night cramps often knot up the muscles of the calves, the feet, and the thighs, causing sharp pains and tightened muscles, which commonly awaken people from a sound sleep.

Nutritional deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and the B vitamins are often the root cause of muscle aches and cramps. Lack of sleep can also contribute to this problem.

Next: What are the Testing Techniques for Muscle Aches and Cramps

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