What Are the Different Causes of Muscle Pain?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Muscle pain is a common problem, and most people experience some muscle aches and pains at least once in their life. There are many causes of this occurrence. The pain is most commonly caused either by improper exercise leading to overstretching muscle fibers or by an accident that involves tearing muscle fibers. Muscle aches also can be caused by conditions such as fibromyalgia, Lyme disease and myofascial pain syndrome (MFS). Infections, including the flu and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, are temporary but can affect the muscles.

There is much more involved in muscle pain than just painful or sore muscles. For most sufferers, painful muscles are also accompanied by pain in the fascia, ligaments and tendons. When these soft connective tissues are also causing pain, it is commonly because of injury. Overly aggressive exercise and sports injuries can both cause muscle aches and injuries to the other tissues. Sprains, strains and general overuse can lead to pain in the muscles as they respond to the excessive stimulation.

Fibromyalgia is a cause of chronic muscle pain. This condition is responsible for causing widespread pain in the muscles all over the body, but it is not because of damaged muscles. Fibromyalgia is a result of processing problems in the brain. The brain and nerves in the muscles cannot relay information back and forth properly. This can result in nerves that are sending pain signals to the brain even when there is nothing causing pain.


Lyme disease is an illness transmitted from infected ticks to humans. Among the many symptoms experienced, joint and muscle pain is common. Experiencing this pain often signifies that the infection has not been treated successfully. With Lyme disease, pain in the muscles is temporary and goes away when treatment has been successful.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is another infection, and it is similar to Lyme disease. It is caused by a bacteria transmitted through tick bites. Initial symptoms include fever, headache and nausea. If it is undetected and untreated, widespread muscle pain occurs. In some cases, the pain still occurs after treatment and as long as 14 days following infection.

Temporary muscle pain, whether localized or widespread, is generally the result of an illness such as the flu or a bad cold. This type of pain usually is mild in comparison to pain from other causes. Many cold and flu medications help alleviate the pain.

Myofascial pain syndrome is a condition that causes chronic muscle pain. The fascia tissue is affected. This tissue covers the muscles and can involve a whole group of muscles or just one. There are tender points to that stimulate the nerves in the muscles, causing the pain.



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