Muscle pain flares and how to avoid them

Mmc Couple In Pain
People use various timeframes for what is considered to be a “flare,” but it is often several weeks of the symptoms worsening.

By Patricia Delzell, M.D., Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants, Inc.

A muscle pain flare is an exacerbation of what may already be minor pain. People use various timeframes for what is considered to be a “flare,” but it is often several weeks of the symptoms worsening.

Times of isolation, such as during an illness or staying mostly indoors during winter, can also lead to a pain flare, usually involving previous joint and muscle injuries. That’s why it’s important for people to keep moving even if their bodies do not want to move. Even if scar tissue has been minimized, pain associated with the scar can still resurface when you get out of your rhythm and routine. It is best for your physical and mental health to avoid large fluctuations in your pain cycle by staying in your routine.

So, the question is, how do you manage or even avoid those flares?

Steps to Avoid Pain Flares in Muscles
You can take specific actions that will help you avoid pain flares in muscles and minimize any painful flareups. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Walk around a lot. This helps you take breaks from excessive sitting that might be a part of your work or current routine.
  • Hydration is essential even if you just want to avoid cramping. Make sure you drink around three bottles of water a day.
  • Are there any non-drug pain relievers that worked for you in the past? Make a list and keep it handy. Generally, these include moist heat, massage, self-trigger point release, botanical teas, light therapy, topical pain-relieving gels or creams, and electrical stimulation
  • If you have chronic muscle pain, keep your muscles as warm and supple as possible. If you are chronically cold, your muscles will tense up and worsen your chronic pain
  • Consider meditation. Look up YouTube videos for meditation, qi gong, tai chi, and yoga. Following along can help relax your muscles.
  • Try some hot tea to keep you warm from the inside out.

One of the best ways to avoid pain flares in muscles is to continue exercising. If you didn’t exercise regularly previously, now would be a good time to start. If you are stuck indoors owing to the weather or current restrictions, there are many exercises you can do indoors. Start by setting up an area in your home where you have enough space to roll out, stretch and warm up your muscles.

Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants’ new offices are at 8401 Chagrin Rd., Suite 20A, in Chagrin Falls. Call 440- 557-5011 to schedule an evaluation or visit for more info.