Muscle Pain Information

Muscle pain is common. It is also known as “myalgia” and is a symptom of many diseases and disorders, but the most common causes are the overuse or over-stretching of a muscle or group of muscles. This type of pain is usually localized, affecting just one or more muscles or parts of the body.

Muscle pain without injury or trauma is often due to viral infections. Long-term muscle pain may indicate a metabolic myopathy (muscular disease), some nutritional deficiencies or chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

Almost everyone experiences sore, aching muscles now and then. Muscle pain can range from mild to excruciating, and though it most often goes away after a few days, some muscle pain can persist for months. Muscle pain can develop almost anywhere in the body, including the neck, back, legs and hands. Although it is usually concentrated in one or a few muscle groups, it may be more widespread.

Systemic muscle pain, which one feels throughout his or her body, is more often the result of an infection, illness, such as fibromyalgia or polymyalgia rheumatica, or a medication such as statin, and should undergo a doctor’s evaluation. Another specific muscle pain cause is acute rejection after heart transplant surgery.

Muscle Pain Symptoms

Muscle pain is a symptom of a larger condition or disease. The most common causes of muscle pain are tension, stress, overuse and minor injuries. The muscle pain location, duration and level of intensity rely greatly on what is causing the pain.

Outside of trauma, the most common muscle pain causes include chronic exertional compartment syndrome, viral infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, staph infections, claudications, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, dermatomyositis, post-polio syndrome, fibromyalgia, porphyria, influenza (flu), polymyalgia rheimatica, lupus, Lyme disease, myfascial pain syndrome, medications (especially statins), muscle cramp and muscle strain or rupture. muscle pain home treatment usually relieves muscle pain from minor injuries, stress or exercise.

Muscle pain from severe injuries or systemic disease is often serious and requires medical care. One should schedule an office visit if experiencing muscle pain that lasts longer than a week, signs of infection, such as redness and swelling, around a sore muscle, or poor circulation and muscle pain in the legs.

One should call a doctor immediately if experiencing sudden, severe muscle pain that doesn’t go away or that recurs during exercise, have a tick bite or rash, or experience pain after starting a medication. Emergency care is required for difficulty breathing or dizziness, extreme muscle weakness, or a high fever and stiff neck.

Muscle Pain Treatment

Most minor muscle pain is resolved through self-care and home treatment. Whether a conditioned athlete or a novice, one can become sore after exercise, especially if the workout lasts long than normal, is more intense or uses different muscles.

The type of muscle pain, called delayed-onset muscle soreness, usually surfaces twelve to forty-eight hours after the activity and will go away on its own in a few days to a week. The best remedy is usually to keep exercising at a moderate level.

Stretching won’t relieve sore muscles, though some find that massage helps. Muscle pain occurring during an activity usually signals a “pulled” or strained muscle. Even severe strains, which can take months to completely heal, usually respond well to home therapy known as “R.I.C.E” (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

For best results, R.I.C.E. should begin within forty-eight hours of an injury. If seeking medical evaluation, various techniques are available to determine the cause of muscle pain, including pain measurement tools and X-ray devices.

A doctor will ask about muscle pain symptoms as well as other symptoms, medical history, and possibly assign a questionnaire to assess the pain�s intensity. A physical exam will also likely be required as well as labs (blood tests).

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