Body pains are quite common among people of all ages and usually considered harmless. But they do hamper the body from carrying out simple tasks such as walking or carrying something. Hence an understanding of the causes of body aches can help remedy it. Remember, small changes can make a big difference and following a healthy lifestyle incorporating some sort of exercise is always good for your body. Let’s look at some of the common and not so common causes of body pains.
Leading Causes of Body Pains
When the body encounters or perceives a situation as threatening it releases cortisol in the blood. But the body is unable to distinguish whether it is a threatening situation or just a perception in the mind. Studies have shown that a higher level of stress, as well as increased levels of cortisol, leads to body pains. This is the reason many people ask you to opt for a ‘relaxing massage’ to address body aches. A relaxing massage can help bring down the cortisol level.
The Weight Factor
The human body is an engineering wonder. One of its greatest capabilities is to adapt to adverse conditions both within and outside of the body. But there is an extent to which it can adapt and hence doctors and scientists always recommend homeostasis or balance. Everybody is capable of carrying a certain amount of weight all the time. But, when you gain too much weight, it puts a strain on your muscles and bones. They have to work extra hard for everything, from pumping blood to the heart to carrying out basic functions like walking. Hence, being excessively overweight can lead to body pains, especially at the joints. The following reason will also show that it is best to exercise caution with the wonder that is your body.
Bad Posture/ Strain/Lack of Exercise
The human body is capable of carrying out various kinds of activities only if it is trained to. We have seen contortionists, gymnasts or even dancers of limbo on TV. But have you wondered why you end up with body aches just by cleaning the house? This is because the body — the muscles, bones, their connecting structures like tissues and ligaments — is endowed with a certain elasticity and if you exceed that limit, it causes pain. Gymnasts, contortionists and the like can bend their bodies as they like because they train their bodies to do that. But regular human beings, who do not regularly exercise or undertake work that puts a strain on their untrained and unprepared muscles and bones, suffer from body pains very easily at the slightest exertion.
Sixty per cent of the human body is composed of water. Hence it is of great importance that you keep yourself hydrated. A minimum of two litres of water a day is needed for the body to function smoothly. When the body is dehydrated, the blood circulation in the body slows down and causes cramps and body pains. This is one of the reasons why you are asked to constantly sip on water while working out.
Lack of Sleep / Insomnia
While late-night Instagramming and Netflix and chill might seem fun, in the long run the lack of sleep can lead to body pains. An adult human body requires a minimum of eight hours of sleep. While it is important to meet targets at your workplace, ensure that it doesn’t come at the behest of your sleep. This is because your body repairs itself when it sleeps. A prolonged deprivation of sleep can impair your body’s ability to repair itself, which eventually leads to more incidences of body pains. Hence people with insomnia (the inability to fall asleep) are often plagued by body aches and other associated diseases.
Your good old biology books in school said it right, a balanced diet is of the utmost importance. A lack of vital nutrients like Vitamin D, B, E, magnesium, calcium, amino acids, iron and Omega III in the body is one of the primary causes of body pains. But again this does not mean having vitamin supplements indiscriminately. There are certain groups of vitamins that the body cannot absorb and an excess of it can cause adverse effects. So it is best to get the levels checked before opting for supplements, and to get regulated prescriptions.
Body pains can also be caused by fungal and bacterial infection. The microscopic spores of fungi can be found on the ground and in the air. Most of them (there are about 1.5 million kinds of fungi) are harmless. But certain types can cause serious fungal infections in some people. In the case of bacterial infection, bacteria can invade the body and cause illness. Sometimes these infections can cause body pains. While the infections may be visible, for example when a certain part of the body or skin shows signs of swelling or redness; they may also affect internal organs and show no external signs.
Have you been suffering from body pain with swollen joints for more than six weeks or wake up in the morning with stiffness? Is more than one joint affected, especially the small joints in your hands, wrists, and feet? In that case you should get yourself checked for arthritis. While the disease is common among people of advanced age, it can also affect younger people.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia. This is called abnormal pain perception processing. Doctors have not yet found out what exactly causes fibromyalgia, although factors such as genes, PTSD and depression have been linked to its onset. If you think you are fit and yet suffering from body pains and it has lasted too long you might want to get yourself checked for fibromyalgia.
Relax! Your body pains can just be the manifestation of the flu. When a person comes down with a cold it is natural for the body to release chemicals to fight off the infection. Body pains are produced by this immune response to fighting against illness.
Body pains are common. You could opt for over-the-counter painkillers, ayurvedic treatments, warm baths, warm oil massages or just relax and sleep for a while. But there is cause for worry when these pains refuse to go away, are accompanied by other symptoms such as inflammation, rashes, giddiness, or if it simply interferes with your day to day life too much, then it is best that you consult a doctor.