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Nagging Muscle Aches Don’t Need to Be Such a Pain

By Dr. Molly Casey

Nagging Muscle Aches

Most athletes, or those of us who consider ourselves weekend warriors, have experienced that nagging muscle ache that prevents us from working out as hard as we would like at the gym. Even worse, maybe it’s stopping us from working out at all.

Those nagging muscle aches can be irritating in more than physical ways because our workouts are often as much for mental health as anything else. Sometimes it just takes a minute of regrouping to assess what to do to move past it.


Often (but not always) the nagging injuries are related to a combination of imbalances of hard structure (bone and joint), soft tissue (muscles/tendons/fascia), and movement patterns. Having a professional assess these components is imperative in the process of moving past and correcting the issue. Your chiropractor can do just that.

Chiropractors promote optimal nervous system functioning (brain/body communication) by using the chiropractic adjustment to remove structural interference (subluxations). While optimal nervous system function is the primary objective, chiropractors are experts in joint movement, muscle function, and movement patterns.

Just like professional athletes, a smart move for the rec athlete is to utilize doctors of chiropractic to first improve brain/body communication with chiropractic adjustments to the spine. They will also assess the joints associated with the areas that are restricted in range of motion, injured, and/or have maladaptive patterns of movement.

Flexibility and Stability

More often than not, flexibility needs to be addressed and improved. Joints and muscles need to be able to move and function with ease with no threat of being pulled or broken. Sedentary lifestyles -- all too common in the U.S. -- do nothing to promote proper flexibility. Develop a stretching routine and abide by it consistently. Deep muscle work from soft tissue professionals is a great help, especially when it includes work on muscles and joints above and below the affected area.

The more stable a joint is, the healthier it is, and the more adaptable it can be to stresses, strains, and activity. Improve joint stability to improve function and feeling. Proprioception is the body’s ability to tell where it is in space; improved proprioception significantly contributes to the stability of a joint. When we improve stability, the joint’s surrounding muscles don’t need to work disproportionately (often inefficiently) to stabilize the joint because the joint itself has the ability.

To up your game, work on balancing skills to improve joint stability and relieve some tension on those overworked muscles.

Strength and Nutrition

Weak joints and muscles can become loud with aches and pain. Supporting the healing of the nagging injuries by strengthening the joints and muscles and supplementing with nutritional support is helpful. One can get very targeted exercises -- that are not complex or overly complicated -- to increase the strength of the joints/muscles affected. The key is specificity, knowing what muscles and joints are being loaded (or stressed), and ensuring proper activation is occurring with proper form to perform the movement.

Food and nutrition is medicine. There is always something you can add in your diet or nutrition routine to support the healing journey, even if it’s a multivitamin..


Nagging joint/muscle aches can put a damper on anyone’s day or routine -- not in a fully derailed train sort of way, but in a way that over time will wear you down to the nub. However, you can overcome them. See a chiropractor and let them improve brain/body communication through the chiropractic adjustment. Let them evaluate your body for any imbalances or improper movement patterns that may be contributing to the issues. Implement flexibility and stability routines. Get regular muscle work done and then strengthen and support that joint.

If this process is done in the right order and consistently, you and your body will be better for it in more ways than you will ever know.

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