Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, can affect the entire body or specific regions. Almost everyone experiences such pain at some point in their life. While it can be treated, knowing the cause is essential to develop a treatment plan. The pain could be triggered by various factors, including injury, trauma, and even severe diseases or infections. Read on to learn about the five most common health conditions that may cause muscle pain.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain throughout the body. Muscle aches and pains are widespread in people with the condition. It is usually the first symptom that causes people to seek diagnosis and treatment. When lupus and muscle ache exist together, it is called lupus myositis. Patients may experience severe pain and inflammation in their shoulders, upper arms, hips, and thighs. This can make it difficult for them to get up from a chair, climb stairs, or brush their hair. Although muscles do not weaken in lupus, the pain can be intense.
This is an autoimmune disease that damages the nerves in the body. Sometimes, it affects the nerves that control muscle movement, causing acute pain. The muscles usually become stiff or weak and trigger painful muscle contractions. This pain usually occurs in the arms and legs, affecting the ability to sit, stand, walk, or move about easily.
Myofascial pain syndrome
This is a chronic disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system. It can impact either a single muscle or a muscle group. Some people with myofascial pain syndrome experience muscle pain occasionally, while the problem persists for others. The pain appears in specific trigger points in the body that usually develop in the upper back, neck, or shoulder muscles. It gets worse when the affected muscle is stretched or strained. The trigger points may feel like small bumps or knots in the muscle.
Muscle pain, weakness, and cramping are common in people with hypothyroidism, a prevalent disorder where the thyroid gland does not release sufficient thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. It mainly affects larger muscles, like those in the thighs and shoulders. Alternatively, the overproduction of thyroid hormones, or hyperthyroid myopathy, affects muscles throughout the body. This can lead to problems climbing stairs, holding objects, or reaching arms above the head. Some experience weakness in the throat, face, and respiratory muscles. There are treatments for hyperthyroidism, but it can take weeks or months for muscle cramps and stiffness to improve.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a prevalent autoimmune disease where the immune system affects the joints, causing inflammation and swelling. If the inflammation prevents a person from moving the joints, the muscles around them get stiff and sore. The pain that arises differs from the typical joint pain that primarily affects specific joints on both sides of the body. The intensity of pain also varies among individuals. When such muscle pain arises along with rheumatoid arthritis, the condition is called rheumatoid myositis. The common symptoms are weakness, swelling, and pain in the muscles. This health condition accelerates the loss of muscle mass that usually occurs as people age.
Muscle pain with loss of motion is a red flag to watch out for. But in most cases, it can be effectively managed with the right treatment. If muscle pain or cramping affects the back, one can get relief by applying a pain-relieving patch. Back patches help manage pain, improve movement, and speed up recovery. They are also available in XL sizes that target maximum surface area. Individuals should consult a healthcare provider if the problem worsens or persists without an apparent cause.