Muscle aches and pains (myalgia) are a common complaint for many people. In the majority of cases the problem is closely related to tension and overuse of certain groups of muscles. Muscle injury is also a frequent cause of muscle aches and pains. The pain may occur while the person is still engaged in some activity or much later.
It is essential to memorize that muscle aches and pains can also be a consequence of more complex underlying conditions. This is the main reason why you should always discuss with your physician about muscle pain that lasts for a longer period of time, does not subside with pain killers, becomes more intensive and is associated with several more symptoms and signs.
Underlying Causes of Muscles Aches and Pains
As already mentioned many people face muscle aches and pains once they engage in some physical activity, especially if they have not practiced for a while or have not stretched and warmed up properly prior the physical activity. Furthermore, injuries, sprains or strains may occur while lifting heavy objects, exercising and any other physical activity that is not performed properly and includes overuse of certain groups of muscles.
In some cases, muscle aches and pains may actually represent a side effect of medications the person is currently taking. This is, for instance, reported in case of ACE inhibitors (a group of antihypertensives), statins (medications for lowering cholesterol ) and illicit drug cocaine.
Finally, muscle aches and pains can point to the presence of certain medical conditions. Dermatomyositis, electrolyte imbalances, fibromyalgia, infections, infectious diseases, autoimmune disease and many more different illnesses may be reasons behind muscle aches and pains.
Muscle Aches and Pains Home Care, Remedies and Treatments
Muscle aches and pains associated with injury and overuse are easily brought under control with proper rest and NSAIDs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Ice packs or cold compresses applied onto the painful area are of additional help.
People in whom muscle aches and pains occur due to some underlying condition will eventually overcome the problem when their primary disease is treated either by conservative means or surgically. Physical therapy is also a part of treatment for some of these conditions, and it is beneficial for both the primary condition and associated muscle aches and pains.
Drugs that may be a cause of muscle aches and pains are discontinued and replaced with other medications which do not have these side effects.
Finally, any muscle pain that lasts for more than 3 days, is severe and accompanied by signs of infection like swelling or redness of the affected area must be reported immediately.