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Muscle pain, professionally called as myalgia, is a very common ailment, which may indicate numerous different disorders. This type of pain usually appears as a consequence of over-stretch, overuse or other injuries of the muscle. It can affect one specific muscle, muscles group or entire human body. In majority of the cases, it pass away in a short period of time without any specific treatment. One of the most common causes of muscle pain, which triggered by an underlying condition, include infections, autoimmune disorders, side effects of using certain medications or drugs and thyroid malfunctions.
The most common causes of muscle pain
Muscle tissues can be found in entire human body, thus myalgia might potentially develop anywhere. The most common causes of this ailment are muscle over-stretch, overuse or strong tension during hard work or physical exercise. It may appear especially during unusual movement, which is unfamiliar for the muscular system, or due to excessive load or high intensity. Myalgia may also appear as a result of an underlying disease. In such incidents, it frequently affects entire muscular system or its wider areas. What is more, certain medications or drugs, like alcohol, cocaine, ACE inhibitors or statins can also cause muscle pain.
Popular conditions, resulting in muscle pain, are:
- Hypothyroidism (or other thyroid malfunction)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Certain autoimmune disorders (e.g. multiple sclerosis or systemic lupus erythematosus)
Conditions strongly associated with muscular system, resulting in muscle pain include:
- Polymyositis (PM)
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
Home remedies for myalgia
Most of the muscle pains can be easily controlled and relieved. One of the best muscle-regenerating methods include rest and relaxation or ice packs applied in the area of pain. If possible, activities which demand physical effort should also be avoided.
Sometimes muscle pain require professional treatment. Healthcare providers may prescribe some medications in order to alleviate the pain. They are selected according to the type of pain, injury seriousness or current health and physical status. The most common means of treatment include intake of painkillers, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or NSAIDs. In cases of muscle pain originating from inflammation or infection, corticosteroids and antibiotics may be used respectively. Nevertheless, if the pain appears as a result of an underlying condition, treatment course is chosen according to that particular cause.
Occasionally, myalgia is caused by intake of certain medications. In those incidents, drug replacement or decreasing the dosage of those medications may actually relieve the pain.
When to see a doctor
Majority of the muscle pains can be easily controlled. Simple home remedies and rest will help to regenerate minor injuries. However, in some cases medical help is strongly recommended, especially if the pain occurs along with a combination of other symptoms and signs, which is presumably indicating an underlying disease.
Immediate medical intervention is required, if one or more of those features appear:
- Intense muscle weakness, which causes e.g. inability to carry light objects or walk up the stairs.
- Shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties.
- Moderate or severe muscle pain, that occurred without any reason or is accompanied by rash, high temperature or joint swelling.
- Muscle pain that developed after tick bite.
- Swallowing difficulties or neck stiffness
- Pain that occurred after changes in taken medications or its dosages.