Muscle Pain

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Definition

What is muscle pain?

Any sensation of pain is a result of nerve impulses sent from the body to the brain, signaling that something is causing injury or discomfort in the affected area. Muscle pain and discomfort, known as myalgia in medical terms, is not a disease in itself. It is an indication of injury, muscle disorder, or a symptom of a wide range of possible disorders. Muscle pain can involve a small area or your whole body, ranging from mild to excruciating.

How common is muscle pain?

Muscle pain is extremely common. It can occur in patients in any gender at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Which signs and symptoms can muscle pain usually be associated with?

Related signs and symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Water retention
  • Fever
  • Stiffness
  • Trouble moving

Causes

What causes muscle pain?

Causes of muscle pain can include:

  • Chronic exertional compartment syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Claudication
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Dystonia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • Influenza (flu) and other viral illness (influenza-like illness)
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Medications, especially the cholesterol medications known as statins
  • Muscle cramp
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Polymyositis (inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness)
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Sprains

Muscle pain can also be caused by medication such as:

  • ACE inhibitors (for blood pressure)
  • Statins (to lower cholesterol)

The conditions mentioned above are some common causes of muscle pain. Consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for muscle pain?

You are more likely to experience muscle pain if you have any of the conditions mentioned above.

Please consult with your doctor for further information.

When to see your doctor

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you or your loved one has any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing or dizziness
  • Extreme muscle weakness
  • A high fever and stiff neck
  • A known tick bite or could have had a tick bite
  • A rash, especially the “bulls-eye” rash of Lyme disease
  • Muscle pain, especially in your calves, that occurs with exercise and resolves with rest
  • Signs of infection, such as redness and swelling, around a sore muscle
  • Muscle pain after you start taking or increase the dosage of a medication — (particularly statins — medications used to control cholesterol
  • Muscle pain that doesn’t improve with self-care

On noticing one of these symptoms or having any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor to get the best solutions for your situation.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage muscle pain?

These following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with muscle pain:

  • Take a break from your normal activities.
  • Place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on the sore area for 20 minutes several times a day.
  • Use a compression bandage to reduce swelling.
  • Elevate your foot to help reduce swelling.

If your muscle pain is caused by tension or physical activity, take these measures to lower your risk of developing muscle pain in the future:

  • Stretch your muscles before engaging in physical activity and after workouts.
  • Incorporate a warm-up and a cooldown into all of your exercise sessions.
  • Stay hydrated, especially on days when you are active.
  • Engage in regular exercise to help promote optimal muscle tone.
  • Get up and stretch regularly if you work at a desk or in an environment that puts you at risk for muscle strain or tension.

People who work at a desk should make an effort to get up and stretch at least every 60 minutes.

Your sore muscles might be due to something other than tension and physical activity. In this case, your doctor will best be able to advise you on how to fully resolve your muscle pain. The first priority will be to treat the primary condition.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor for the best solutions.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 15, 2019 | Last Modified: January 15, 2019

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