The management of muscle pain

O. Mogole, R. Kandiwa, O. Babarinde, H. Ismail, N. Dlamini, L. Maluleke, Q. Labuschagne, L. Malan, N. Schellack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is most commonly associated with sprains or strains. It frequently presents as redness at the site of injury, tenderness, swelling and fever. Muscle pain may occur as a result of excitation of the muscle nociceptor due to overuse of the muscle, viral infections or trauma. The most important endogenous substance released in response to the damaged tissues or nociceptor nerve endings with regard to muscle pain is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Optimal pain management involves a combination of non-opioid analgesics, opioid analgesics, adjuvants, as well as non-pharmacological strategies. Non-opioid analgesics include paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, which are indicated for mild to moderate pain. Moderate to severe pain, on the other hand, requires opioid analgesics. This article provides an overview of muscle pain, and the management and treatment thereof.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Analgesics
  • Muscle pain
  • Myalgia
  • NSAIDs
  • Opioids
  • Sprains
  • Strains


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