Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Muscle pain originates in any of the muscles in the body. The medical term for muscle pain is myalgia. Muscle pain may arise due to injury or overexertion, infections of the soft tissues, or inflammatory conditions. A number of conditions can be associated with generalized aches and pain, such as influenza, that are perceived to be muscle pain. Muscle pain can be localized to one muscle group or diffuse, involving multiple muscle groups. Muscle pain due to injury or overuse is most commonly localized to one area. Depending upon the cause, muscle pain can be mild or severe and debilitating. Muscle pain is the hallmark symptom of some chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. Related symptoms that can occur with muscle pain are tenderness, swelling, redness, or fever.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Main Article on Muscle Pain (Myalgia)
Causes of Muscle Pain (Myalgia)
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Chikungunya Virus (Chikungunya Infection)
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or SEID)
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Intermittent claudication, or pain and cramping in the lower leg is caused by inadequate blood flow to the leg muscles. This lack...
Cold vs. Flu
Though the common cold and flu share many signs and symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Signs and symptoms include...
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Dystonia disorders cause involuntary movements and prolonged muscle contraction, resulting in twisting body motions, tremor, and...
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress...
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache,...
Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity or work in a hot, humid environment. Symptoms of heat...
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and...
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
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Lyme disease is a bacterial illness, which is spread by ticks when they bite the skin. Initially the disease affects the skin...
Malaria is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Malaria symptoms include fever, chills,...
Muscle cramps are involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscles that do not relax. Extremely common, any muscles that have...
Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder of the muscles and joints that causes pain and stiffness in the arms, neck, shoulders,...
Polymyositis is a disease of the muscle featuring inflammation of the muscle fibers. It results in weakness of the muscles which...
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Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted via the bite of an infected animal. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and...
Rhabdomyolysis is a rapid deterioration and destruction of skeletal muscle. Some of the causes of rhabdomyolysis include:...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a tick-borne disease that causes symptoms and signs such as fever, rash, headache, and muscle...
Sprains and Strains
An injury to a ligament is called a sprain, and an injury to muscle or tendon is called a strain. Sprains and strains may be...
Still's disease (systemic-onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) is a disorder characterized by inflammation with high fever...
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Other Causes of Muscle Pain (Myalgia)
- Ciguatera Poisoning
- Electrolyte Imbalance
- Medication Side Effects
- Muscle Abscess
- Muscle Rupture
- Viral Infection
Examples of Medications for Muscle Pain (Myalgia)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- orphenadrine (Norflex)
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