Causes of Muscle pain
The cause of muscle pain can vary. It is helpful to identify whether it is a single muscle or many different groups of muscles that are aching. It is also helpful to identify other symptoms, especially fever, as there are many infectious diseases that cause both fever and muscle aches and pains.
Causes of Local Muscle Pain: If only a single muscle, or a single region is painful, disorders of that region are more likely:
- Muscle injury
- Muscle hematoma
- Muscle cramp
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Causes pain in the single muscle where the thrombosis has occurred; typically it is in a calf muscle in the lower leg (one leg only).
Acute muscle pain with fever: Almost any fever-causing disease can also cause muscle aches and pains, but some are more common causes. The list of infectious diseases likely to have muscle pain as a symptom may include:
- Dengue Fever
- Bornholm Disease
- Epidemic Myalgia
- Trichinosis (porkworm)
- Cysticercosis (tapeworm)
- High Fever (other types). Any disease causing high fever may cause associated muscle aches.
Cause of Chronic Muscle Pain (Myalgia): A number of different disorders may cause ongoing chronic muscle aches and pains. Although some of these conditions may sometimes cause a fever, it is usually a mild fever, rather than the high fever of an infectious disease.
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Fibromyositis (chronic)
- Diabetes (Diabetic Ketoacidosis). Undiagnosed or poorly controlled diabetes can lead to aches in multiple muscle groups (and muscle spasms) due to the electrolyte imbalance from ketosis. This can be a dangerous sign of DKA, which is a medical emergency.
- Arteriosclerosis obliterans
- Anxiety Disorder
- Fatigue Disorder
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Renal tubular acidosis
- Electrolyte Imbalance
- Hypokalemia (low blood potassium)
- Hyponatremia (low blood sodium/salt)
- Hypocalcemia (low blood calcium)
- Hyperparathyroidism (elevated parathyroid hormone)
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone)
- Muscle tumor
- Medication side-effect
Disorders with General Muscle Weakness and Aches/Pains: If there is weakness of the muscles in addition to aches or pains of the muscles, certain diseases are more likely. An effect on the nerves of the muscles is often the cause.
Pain-Like Sensations: Not all diseases affecting the muscle nerves actually cause true pain. However, there are many additional causes that cause pain-like sensations (tingling, burning, numbing, etc.). These are called paresthesias. Review additional causes of muscle weakness (with or without pain) and causes of paresthesias.
Muscle Spasms: There are a number of diseases that cause muscle pain that is the result of a muscle spasm. A simple muscle cramp after exercise is an obvious example, but there are more dangerous diseases causing such spasms. Read more about: Muscle Spasms, Muscle Cramps.
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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.