Sore muscles

Synonyms in a broader sense

muscle hardening, muscle injury, torn muscle fibre, torn muscle bundle, torn muscle


Muscle soreness is a delayed muscle pain that can last up to a week and is caused by microcracks in the fibers of the muscle. Sore muscles are caused by unusual movements that cause tiny micro-cracks in the muscle fibers. The pain does not appear until many hours after the movements and disappears by itself.

The muscles are hard, pressure-sensitive and powerless. There are no specific tests or a special therapy for muscle ache. If a sore muscle has only been present for a short time, no new sore muscles can develop in the same muscles. After the pain has subsided, the sore muscle leaves behind an undamaged muscle tissue. That is why we can also – with a delay – get sore muscles again and again.

Causes of sore muscles

Sore muscles, as everyone knows them, are not caused by lactic acid forming in the muscle, as is assumed by many. Rather, the muscle soreness is caused by unusual braking movements in which the muscle is stretched by external forces. These forces lead to microscopically small tears in the smallest muscle fibers, so-called micro-traumas.

These small injuries can be caused mainly by abrupt braking movements in which the muscle stretches very much. The body counteracts this and wants to repair the small injuries. Small inflammations develop at the appropriate places and water is stored.

Due to the increased fluid retention, the muscle expands and the typical pain of sore muscles develops. Not every kind of sport has the same risk to get sore muscles. Especially in those sports in which braking and acceleration are frequently used, sore muscles can occur more frequently.

In addition to tennis, weight training and soccer, sore muscles in running are more likely to occur when running downhill than when running uphill. However, sore muscles can also be caused by other causes. Sore muscles can be caused by pre-existing inflammation, epileptic seizures and cramps and medication.

Above all, muscle-relaxing medication can also cause muscle soreness, as it causes small muscle contractions when an anaesthetic is introduced. Inflammation often occurs after intensive sports units of endurance, as the prolonged exertion causes damage to the muscle cells. The body reacts to this with repair processes in which inflammation occurs. But no sore muscles? More on the topic: Pain like sore muscles – what can it be?