A health condition or injury affecting a muscle can be very painful – and it is often only temporary and will get better with rest and self-care at home. However, if you do not notice any improvement within a week or two, it may be necessary to see an orthopedic doctor for further investigation in order to treat it successfully.
Muscle pain that is caused by exercise, playing sports, repetitive stress or impact injuries are particularly common and are usually localized, affecting just a few muscles or a small area of your body. Fatigue, poor conditioning, dehydration, and improper warm-up prior to exercise can all contribute to muscle pain and injuries.
If muscle pain occurs suddenly while playing a sport or an activity, it likely signals a strained muscle. Let’s talk about when it’s time to see a doctor for muscle pain.
How Do I Know if the Injury Is a Muscle Strain?
A strain occurs when you twist, pull, or tear a muscle or a tendon. A tendon is a connective tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone. Symptoms of a strain can include localized pain, swelling, cramping, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness. An acute strain usually occurs when the muscle is suddenly stretched too far, and a chronic strain is usually the result of overuse or a repetitive stress injury.
A strain can vary in severity depending on whether the muscle is only stretched, partially torn, or completely ruptured (torn). A complete tear can cause debilitating muscle pain and may require surgery to repair it.
When to See a Doctor
It can be difficult to know when to visit a physician for muscle pain. If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical advice in order to prevent further damage and receive the appropriate treatment:
- Persistent muscle pain that does not improve with self-care or over-the-counter pain medication
- Redness and swelling around a sore muscle (a sign of infection)
- Systemic muscle pain (pain throughout the body), which may indicate an infection or underlying illness
- Muscle pain as a result of taking medication (such as statins used to control cholesterol)
- Shoulder soreness or symptoms of a rotator cuff tear
- Pain that is affecting your sleep or is worse at night
- Pain or difficulty when performing certain movements, such as reaching backward, reaching across your body, raising your arm over your head, or weight-bearing
- A catching, snapping, clicking, or popping sound or feeling when doing certain movements
- An obvious deformity or abnormal shape in the affected area
Orthopedic Doctor in San Antonio, Texas
If you have muscle pain as the result of an injury or condition, or even if you have no idea how it started, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic physician at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. We are dedicated to providing you with the best patient-centered care and treatment that works for you.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (210) 692-7400 or fill out our online form to request an appointment. We look forward to serving you!