The Effect Of Cholesterol Lowering Statins On Muscle Pain

There is an interesting answer to a reader letter from Dr. Roach regarding the use of statins and the potential to cause  muscle pain in patients. He claims that up to 10% of users of certain cholesterol lowering statins may suffer from muscle pain. However, this type of muscle pain is very different from Myositis, which is much more rare and serious as it results in not only muscle pain but also muscle breakdown.

At the end, he also expresses the mixed feelings he has about statins which I think many of us share. Yes, they can be life saving in certain patients already suffering from or with risk factors for heart disease, however, it all must be balanced against the possible side effects associated with this class of drugs.

Please read the whole letter and as always consult with your doctor before starting or discontinuing any medication. The internet can be extremely informative and helpful, just so long as we all understand its limitations and that it is never a substitute for in person medical care.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica Muscle Pain Treatment & Symptoms

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (or PMR) is a relatively common form of muscle pain and stiffness that occurs most frequently in the hips upper back, & neck area. Sufferers are most likely to be afflicted in the morning after waking up but symptoms can appear at any time in the day. Women are twice as likely as men to be afflicted and it occurs most often in older adults.

Although PMR symptoms are not limited to just muscle stiffness. A general feeling of malaise or fatigued, a low grade fever, and even Anemia. Unfortunately there is not one clear cut test to diagnosis this disease, although certain blood tests can help your doctor in making a diagnosis.

Depending on the severity of the pain, nsaid pain relievers may be tried first although quite often the oral steroid prednisone proves to be the most effective treatment in providing symptom relief, generally in just a few days. If you don’t see relief from prednisone, contact your doctor immediately to rule out other possible causes for the muscle pain.


Remedies For Chronic Fatigue After Exercise?

We have read some interesting posts regarding what can best be characterized as chronic fatigue that is often extreme or more than what should normally be expected

Chronic Exercise Fatique

Exercise & Fatigue

following exercise. The symptoms are often described as being completely exhausted with very sore muscles. Naturally, if a weekend warrior or pro athlete pushes their own personal limits with a vigorous work out this could happen, but many people describe suffering after even light to moderate activity.

The general first line treatment suggested involves dehydration, i.e. drink more water. Sports drinks could be used in limited circumstances, however, the amount of sugar often contained in these drinks make it difficult to justify their use for the average athlete. I would think eating a banana could provide some necessary energy and a kick of potassium. However, this extra hydration does not remedy the situation for many complaining of this problem.

There is occasionally conflicting information on this type of fatigue. Can anyone contribute any of their own experiences with this problem and share with us what has worked for you? Whether it be stretching, a particular supplement or perhaps even a change in diet. Thanks.

Stretching Before Running To Avoid Minor Pains and Serious Injuries

An interesting and detailed article on steps to help runners limit the risk of injury and pain. It is a fairly technical post however the lessons should prove invaluable to both the weekend warrior jogger or serious marathon runner looking to cut down on injuries. The point is very well made that if pro athletes require adequate warm up time then certainly those people who are not in peak physical shape are also going to benefit from stretching.

Or course, this issue is not black and white. There are a great many myths regarding stretching before running and you should be aware of these before starting any exercise regimen. I can think of few things more disappointing than getting crazy and sweating like crazy only to find out that you’ve managed to do more harm than good to your body.


FDA Warns Topical Analgesic Irritation Can Be Extreme

topical cream burnThe FDA issued a warning about the use of topical creams and gel pain relievers as new evidence suggest that topical analgesic irritation can be extreme  in a small number of people. This could include an intense burning sensation which could also lead to blistering and a skin rash.

Seek medical attention if this happens to you and remember to always use common sense by not using these types of skins on broken or already irritated skin. If you have not used this medication in the past, you might also want to apply it to just a small portion of your skin first to make sure no problems arise.

Of course in my case I will also have to exercise a bit first to have to worry about sore muscles.

Chill Out! The Effects Of Stress On Our Pain Levels

I think that everyone has to admit that the stress that is present in all of our daily lives has to be a big contributor to the aches and pains we feel in our bodies. This is not to diminish the real muscles and joint diseases that exist, however how often have you ever had a flare up or a bad day and noticed that you seemed to be in much more pain? The back pain sufferers I’ve talked with seem especially susceptible to this, no doubt in large part to the tensing up of the muscles. Plus, lets not forget the classic “stress headache” that seems to bother so many adults.

What to do about this phenomenon? Simply telling yourself to chill out can actually be a quick way to make things worse. Nevertheless, simple light exercise, meditation, deep breathing, stretching or yoga all have proven effective for people worldwide. Tranquilizers or benzos(valium, xanax, etc.) can be effective but with all the dangers and potential side effects that come with them it hardly seems like a long term solution.

Please share your story about how stress effects you and what works for you in lessening stress and consequently the pain it may bring about. Hopefully one person’s experience can bring some relief to another in the community. Thanks!

Massage Therapy For Muscle Pain In Arms, Legs & Back

Back Pain MassageFor anyone who has ever had a proper massage from a licensed therapist it will probably not be surprising that massage is an effective tool for treating muscle pain, including the most common areas of the lower back, arms, and legs. It can be particularly useful for frequent exercisers and athletes to help them recover from the stress put on their bodies. So massage should no longer be thought of solely as a spa treatment as evidence mounts regarding its effectiveness in helping with all types of muscle fatigue and pain.

Alternative Therapy: Yoga For Lower Back Pain

A new study points to yoga as an alternative to drug therapy in the treatment of lower back pain. However, obviously caution must be used and yoga should only be practiced under the guidance of a qualified instructor. The report also points out that a regular course of stretching will also achieve the same results in alleviating muscle pain if you are not into the whole “yoga thing”.

The most important and recurring theme from all these medical studies regarding joint and muscle pain treatments is to stay active and keep your weight under control. However, as many of us know, following that advice is never easy when getting out of bed in the morning is extremely painful.