Muscle pain which is medically referred to as myalgia, can occur in adults and children. In many cases, sore and aching muscles are nothing to worry about and will resolve without medical treatment. However, muscle pain can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying illness.
Common causes of muscle pain include:
- Medications – certain chemotherapy medications can cause myalgias and joint pain (arthralgias), which usually resolve when the medication is removed. These may include biologic therapies (such as interferon or aldesleukin), or growth factors (such as filgrastim). Certain types of chemotherapy, such as paclitaxel, may also cause myalgias.
Other possible causes of myalgias are:
- Infections – Infection in the blood, which produces a fever, may cause muscle pains. You may also have an infection or inflammation in one of your muscle groups, that may have caused pain.
- Prolonged muscle use – usually with exercise or movements that your body is not used to.
- Other inflammatory conditions – such as fibromyalgia (a syndrome characterized by widespread muscle pain, lack of sleep, headaches, and depression), or polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR)
Some people who have muscle aches may notice the following symptoms alongside the soreness and discomfort in their muscles:
- stiffness and weakness in the affected area
- a rash
- a bite mark
- difficulty breathing
- signs of infection, such as redness and swelling
Some of these symptoms, such as a very high fever or difficulty breathing, will require immediate medical attention.
Home remedies are often sufficient to relieve pains resulting from minor injuries, too much exercise, or stress. The following can be performed at home to help relieve muscle pains:
- Use an ice pack or bag of frozen peas to help relieve pain and reduce swelling. Apply ice to the area for 15–20 minutes three times a day.
- Rest the affected area and discontinue the activity that caused the injury (muscle pain).
Muscle pains that are severe or do not subside after applying the home remedies as mentioned above, may be a symptom of an underlying condition that requires medical assessment and treatment. Please seek medical care from your doctor immediately.