Myalgia is short-term or chronic muscle pain. We’ve all experienced muscle pain or discomfort at some point or the other. In most cases, you probably didn’t think it’s anything serious. But do you know it can be a severe symptom of an even more severe underlying condition?

That’s right. That’s why it’s critical to learn all the potential causes, symptoms, easy remedies and when it’s time to see a medical practitioner to seek treatment. Here is a short guide to provide more information.

What are the symptoms of myalgia?

The most common and obvious symptom is deep muscle pain. It often feels like you are having a muscle pull (sharp or dull aching pain). If it’s chronic, you can experience the pain whether you’re moving your muscles or not. That makes the muscles swollen, sore and tender to the touch.

Other symptoms include;

  • Fatigue (you can hardly complete easy tasks)
  • Joint pain
  • Chills and fever if you have an infection
  • Severe (or mild) pain that lasts for long periods, or it’s constant.
  • Depression due to constant pain

What causes myalgia?

There are a couple of causes of this condition. They include;

1. Over exerting yourself

There’s only so much that your muscles can take. You can develop myalgia from straining your muscles too much, whether while lifting heavy items or working out. However, this type of muscle pain is acute, and you can manage it with ease.

2. Side effects of medication

Numerous medications have undesirable side effects, including muscle pain. Additionally, other drugs (prescribed or otherwise) may cause myopathies (diseases affecting your muscle tissues). Once you stop using them (especially if you were taking a high dosage), you develop muscle pain. These include;

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antimicrobials
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunological drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Caffeine

3. Injury

Some injuries can lead to muscle pain. However, it is usually short-lived and affects only a specific area. But if your muscles are severely traumatized, the pain can become chronic.

4. Diseases

Myalgia can be a symptom of several diseases or conditions. Some of these conditions can result in chronic or acute myalgia, depending on how severe the illness is.  Chronic muscle pain can be a symptom of;

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Multiple sclerosis

Acute muscle pain can be a symptom of;

  • Lyme disease
  • Influenza
  • Deficiency of some minerals and vitamins like potassium and vitamin D

When should you see a doctor?

Muscle pain isn’t always a harmless condition. While it’s easy to opt for self-medication, sometimes it’s best to see a doctor. That’s because you can’t always tell if it’s a sign of a medical emergency as recent research shows. It’s best to do so when;

  • Home remedies aren’t effective.
  • A tick bit you
  • You can’t tell the cause of the severe muscle pain.
  • You have swelling and redness.
  • You have rash
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers are ineffective.
  • You have a fever

Final thoughts

Muscle pain is a common condition. You can try using home remedies and over-the-counter medication first. If that doesn’t seem to work, then it’s time to visit a doctor. Feel free to contact SEPSC for more information.