Facts about Muscle Inflammation


Every move we make is controlled through a complex system in our bodies involving at least one muscle; inflammation of that muscle can cause pain and discomfort that may inhibit its ability to move.  There are many reasons that this condition may occur, and being able to identify the cause can help to effectively treat the muscle.


There is no definitive answer as to how many muscles exist in the structure of a human being since no one really knows.  Estimates, however, of over 600 muscles in the muscular system are thought to be fairly accurate.  Each and every muscle plays a crucial role in the body’s ability to move; indeed, without muscles, there would be no possibility of movement at all.  Muscles control the blinking of our eyes, our ability to speak, the way we sit and walk.  It is due to muscle capability that our hearts beat, allowing us to live.  Though we rarely consider the work that our combined muscles perform on a continuous basis, there are muscles in the body that never rest. 


Because of the vital work that they do, muscles are by nature resilient, flexible and strong.  That is not to say that they are infallible to damage, however.  Overuse, overextension and even disuse of muscles will affect their ability to operate as they were intended.  Certain diseases and disorders can also have a dramatic effect on the muscular structure.  Whether from irritation, injury or infection, when one of these situations arise the body’s immune system immediately reacts.  Different reactions occur for different causes, but simply speaking, chemicals are released from the body’s supply of white blood cells and are sent to the injured area.  The result is a combination of symptoms that generally range from swelling, redness and pain; a condition more commonly known as muscle inflammation.  Any injury or problem that occurs to any of the muscles is immediately felt in the part of the body they are found because of our daily dependence on them.

Several diseases are commonly associated with the painful inflammation of a muscle or a set of muscles.  Most autoimmune diseases will exhibit this symptom; generally a misdirected effect of the immune system’s attempts to battle what it mistakenly perceives to be a threat.  Arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and taking statin drugs are among some of the other tendencies to cause the condition.  Treating these types of inflammations should be done under the direction of your doctor’s care to ensure their safety.


Most often, the soreness that is felt due to muscle inflammation is caused through injury or irritation.  Though we all know that exercise is beneficial to our overall health and essential to maintain muscle tone, most people do not use their muscles to their fullest advantage every day.  Yet, they expect that their muscles should be able jump into action at a moment’s notice when something unexpected happens.  Muscles are designed to stretch and flex, but do have their limitations as well.  When an activity pushes the muscle to its limit and beyond, the fibers of the muscle begin to tear.  The body’s immune system comes into the picture, sending its protective chemicals to the area to prevent infection.   This action increases the flow of blood to the affected area; causing the warm sensation and the red appearance.  Certain chemicals from the immune system prompt neighboring tissue to secrete fluids, causing the swelling.  


Muscle inflammation is a painful condition that can generally be successfully treated when the cause, either from disease or overuse, is known.  Keeping muscles toned and in good shape through exercise will help to ensure that they will be in the best position to help us when we need them.