Muscle pain

Find a symptom by its first letter

Definition

Almost everyone has sore, aching muscles now and then. Muscle pain can involve a small area or your whole body, ranging from mild to excruciating.

Although most muscle aches and pains go away on their own within a short time, sometimes muscle pain can linger for months. Muscle pain can develop almost anywhere in your body, including your neck, back, legs and even your hands.

Causes

The most common causes of muscle pain are tension, stress, overuse and minor injuries. This type of pain is usually localized, affecting just a few muscles or a small part of your body.

Systemic muscle pain — pain throughout your whole body — is more often the result of an infection, an illness or a side effect of a medication.

Common causes of muscle pain include:

  • Chronic exertional compartment syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Claudication
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Dystonia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Lupus
  • Lyme disease
  • Medications, especially the cholesterol medications known as statins
  • Muscle cramp
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Polymyositis
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever

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