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What is Muscular Pain?

Muscular pain, also known as myalgia, is a type of pain that involves muscle tissue and the tendons that connect the muscle to the bones and joints. It can be generalized (affecting multiple muscle groups and can be felt almost everywhere in the body or only affect a particular group of muscles. Everyone experiences muscle pain differently.

What are the Causes of Muscular Pain?

Some of the common causes of muscular pain include:

  • Muscle Injury 
  • Muscle infection
  • Overusing the muscle during physical activity
  • Not warming up properly before vigorous activity

What are the Types of Medical Conditions that Can Cause Muscular Pain?

Some of the common conditions associated with muscular pain include:

  • Fibromyalgia, a chronic condition affecting certain chemicals and pain receptors.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
  • Hypokalemia, low potassium levels in the body
  • Autoimmune disorders such as polymyositis, dermatomyositis, or lupus
  • Medications, especially the cholesterol medications known as statins
  • Influenza (flu) and other viral illness (influenza-like illnesses)
  • Arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gout
  • Tendinitis
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica

Symptoms of Muscular Pain

Symptoms that can be associated with muscular pain include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness and weakness in the affected area
  • Redness and rash
  • Persistent pain
  • Fever
  • Dizziness

How to Diagnose the Causes of Muscular Pain?

Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history and perform a physical examination. Your doctor may order diagnostic tests such as blood tests to screen for certain autoimmune diseases, complete blood count, sedimentation rate test to estimate the level of inflammation in the body, MRI or CT scan to look for muscle injury or damage, electromyography to measure electrical activity in nerves and muscles, and muscle biopsy to look for muscle tissue changes that may indicate neuromuscular diseases.

What are the Treatments for Muscular Pain?

Some of the treatments for muscular pain include:

  • Using medications such as topical pain relievers and oral anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Rest and elevate the painful area
  • Application of heat and ice to the affected area
  • Strengthening muscle function and maintaining a good range of motion with a regular exercise regimen
  • Surgical repair of torn muscles and tendons may be indicated in cases of severe injuries.