Caffeine and Pain

I was having an OK pain day. My quadratus lumborum was feeling pretty good. I went to have a bit of milk chocolate, and I literally felt that muscle tighten in my back, and I was in pain.

Then I got to thinking. Many times I will get up in the morning, and I will feel fine, but as the morning moves on, my back feels worse, even though I have done nothing to irritate it.

All of a sudden, I thought, "Maybe it is caffeine that is causing me more pain."  I realized that if it did it for that little bit of chocolate, then my chai tea (I have four cups of chai in the morning but it has 2 tablespoons of orange pekoe black tea is a LOT of caffeine.), it was probably the source of my unexplained pain later in the morning.

BINGO. I skipped it for two mornings, and I had no pain.

Numerous Google searches turned this up. Why has no doctor told me this before? It makes sense that since caffeine is a stimulant that it would cause muscle contraction, and when you are trying to heal muscles (like I am with my QL after 8 weeks following injury), it is probably something to forgo! 

I read on a massage therapists website that she can tell if someone has had caffeine too. I think I want to go back to having my massages in the afternoon. I have had morning massages lately, and she says I have been very tight. 

I give it up for a while (or maybe put one teaspoon of darjeeling instead of 2 tablespoons of orange pekoe). I do think it is contributing. 

Never would have realized that unless I had felt it after that chocolate. 

Chocolate & Pain

Chocolate is a stronger pain-inducer than coffee or tea. Chocolate causes dramatic increases in muscle tension and pain. Chocolate contains less caffeine than coffee, but has large amounts of theophylline, similar to caffeine. The combined effect of caffeine and theophylline is probably why chocolate makes muscles tense and painful. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffeine/AN01211
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