Synapse Physiotherapy | Physio Center | Rehab Malaysia

Muscle Pain | Sakit Otot
Muscle Pain

What is a muscle? A muscle is a contractile tissue that has the ability to shorten and lengthen to produce movement. As a human, we have more than 600 muscles in our body. It is impossible to avoid muscle pain throughout our lifetime. 

What is muscle Pain | Sakit Otot

Muscle pain or also known as myalgia refers to pain or discomfort in a muscle or muscle group. Muscle pain can be acute or chronic. Acute muscle pain may result from muscle overuse, injury, infection, or drugs such as statins that can induce cellular muscle tissue breakdown (C.S. Bockman, J. Eckerson, K.E. McCarson, 2015). On the other hand, chronic muscle pain results from myofascial syndrome, fibromyalgia, and polymyalgia rheumatica.

The most common cause of muscle pain is muscle strain. It occurs when your muscle is unable to cope with the demands placed on them by overloaded exercise and leads to tearing of the muscle fibers.

Muscle Pain | Sakit Otot
Grade CExplanation Recovery Time
Grade 1 Strain Minimal swelling
Pain and tenderness until the next day Minimal or no loss of movement or strength.
7-21 days
Grade 2 Strain Significant pain accompanied with swelling. Reduce in strength and function. 2-3 months
Grade 3 Strain Severe swelling and pain. Complete loss of strength and function. Complete rupture is either muscle belly tendon torn to 2 parts or tendon separated from muscle belly 6 months and more.

Goals of Physiotherapy for Muscle Pain

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in managing and treating muscle pain. As a physiotherapist, our primary goals are pain relief, restoring normal function, correcting muscle imbalance and preventing recurrence.  

Pain Relief

There are various techniques to reduce muscle pain, for example, heat and cold therapy, electrotherapy, and therapeutic exercises. 

Improve flexibility and strength

A physiotherapist also helps to improve one’s flexibility and strength to promote functional recovery through the right technique of stretching, strengthening, and mobility exercises. 

Correcting muscle imbalance

A physiotherapist will assess your muscular imbalance that contributes to muscle pain and customize an exercise regime to restore muscle balance. 

Prevent Recurrence

Through correct education and proper exercise prescription, physiotherapists are able to help restore proper body mechanics thus reducing the risk of recurrence of muscle pain.

When is Physiotherapy Recommended for Muscle Pain?

Acute and chronic sport-related injuries.

Physiotherapy is highly recommended for this type of pain including acute and chronic sport-related injuries. Physiotherapy will help by using the techniques PEACE & LOVE to promote healing and to prevent further injury (Dubois and Esculier, 2019). 


Delayed onset muscle sorenes (DOMS)

Another common cause of muscle pain is delayed onset muscle soreness also known as DOMS. It is described as a sore and aching pain that occurs 12-48 hours after unaccustomed exercise, especially if the exercise involves significant eccentric muscle actions (Orthopedic Massage, 2nd Edition, 2009). A physiotherapist is able to reduce muscles pain through heat therapy, myofascial release and also the correct selection of exercises. Other than that, a physiotherapist can also help to distinguish between DOMS ot muscle strain.



Fibromyalgia is one of the conditions that physiotherapists can help to reduce pain. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by generalized musculoskeletal pain, hyperalgesia, and allodynia, commonly associated with other symptoms such as fatigue, poor sleep quality, anxiety, and depression (Antunes & Marques, 2022). By improving functional ability and providing pain relief, patients with fibromyalgia are able to live a better life.

Physiotherapy Treatments Available for Muscle Pain

Synapse Physiotherapy is dedicated to providing comprehensive physiotherapy services to address various muscle pain conditions. The team of highly skilled and experienced physiotherapists offers a wide range of treatment options including

Manual Therapy 

By using hands-on techniques such as joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization and myofascial release to reduce muscle tension and improve mobility. 


Dry needling

Dry needling is a medical treatment which uses thin needles (without medication) to alleviate muscle spasms associated with trigger points, usually felt as a taut band in the muscle. When a needle is inserted into a trigger point, the tight muscle fibers relax whilst being nourished with oxygen and nutrients thus reducing muscle pain. 



Apart from electrical stimulation and ultrasound, we also have shockwave therapy, a non-invasive treatment option for those suffering from a wide range of tendon, muscle, and joint disorders. It works by using high-energy sound waves that are introduced directly to the site of injury to break down all the dysfunctional tissues that are causing your pain.


Therapeutic Exercises

In Synapse Physiotherapy, we customised every patient that suits their condition. We will train our patients to improve their strength and flexibility to reduce the muscle pain.


Heat and Cold Therapy

By applying heat or cold therapy(depending on condition), it will help our patient to reduce pain, muscle spasm and swelling.


Education and Advice

We always emphasize on patient education and home education exercises. The proper guidance on ergonomics, postural correction, proper body mechanics and self-management strategies will help to reduce muscle pain.

Common Questions about Muscle Leg Pain

The duration of muscle pain can vary depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Acute muscle pain typically resolves within a few days to a couple of weeks while chronic muscle pain may persist for several weeks to months or even longer.

Rest is important during the initial phase of muscle pain to allow healing. However prolonged rest can lead to muscle stiffness and weakness. Once the acute phase has passed, controlled and gradual exercise is often recommended by physiotherapists to promote healing, restore function and prevent muscle deconditioning.

Yes. Physiotherapy can play a preventive role in managing muscle pain. Through proper education, exercise prescription and addressing muscle imbalances physiotherapy can help enhance muscle strength flexibility and overall body mechanics thus reducing the risk of muscle pain occurrences.

The frequency of physiotherapy sessions needed for muscle pain varies depending on factors such as the underlying condition, severity of symptoms, one’s response to treatment and personal goals. Synapse’s physiotherapists will assess your condition and develop a customised treatment plan including the recommended frequency and duration of sessions.

If you are experiencing muscle pain it is advisable to consult with a physiotherapist who can assess your specific condition and provide appropriate treatment accordingly. Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice and care.