When You Ache All Over
Muscle pain that affects a small part of your body is usually caused by overuse — sore arms from lifting boxes all day, for example. Or it could be a minor injury, like a bruised shoulder after a fall. But when you ache all over your body, itâs more likely caused by an infection, illness, or medicine youâve taken.
How Can Muscle Aches And Pain Be Treated
If youre concerned about aches and pains or have swollen, stiff and painful joints, rashes, weight loss or if you feel unwell, we would advise you to see your GP to discuss your symptoms. They are likely to arrange further investigations and a referral to a specialist may be needed. If your joint is hot, red or swollen and you feel feverish and unwell, you should seek urgent medical attention by calling 999.
If your aches and pains are related to the menopause, there are several things that can help.
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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Bacteria called R. rickettsii cause it, and a tick bite is usually how you get it. Most of the symptoms are flu-like — fever, chills, headache, nausea, insomnia, and muscle aches. A rash that doesn’t itch can show up on your wrists and ankles after a few days, then spread. Antibiotics treat it, and the sooner you take them, the better. If not treated, it can lead to inflammation in your lungs, heart, and brain, then kidney failure.
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Youre Walking Too Far
If youve gone from 30 minute strolls around your neighbourhood to suddenly taking on a half marathon walk, you should probably expect your body to feel a little uncomfortable. People can experience pain if they have had a sudden increase in walking duration, says Yasmin Milne, a specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist at Pure Sports Medicine. Its because the muscles and joints are pushed beyond the capacity of what they can tolerate, and theres too much load put on the area.
The obvious way to get around this is to increase your mileage slowly, just like you would with running. Walking may be lower intensity, but long distances are tough on the body regardless of the speed or impact. Ensure youre taking adequate rest and recovery between walks and try not to increase your overall weekly load in terms of distance or time by more than 10% each week for injury prevention, adds Milne.
If you cant shorten the walking distance, Milne advises that taking rests if you start to feel discomfort allows time for the symptoms to settle.
How To Help Ease Menopause Symptoms And Stay Healthy
Step one: Stick to your RA treatment plan and work closely with your doctor to help keep the disease under control. Treating rheumatoid arthritis aggressively minimizing all signs of inflammation is the best option, advises Dr. Lockshin. The more aggressively you treat RA, the less cardiovascular disease occurs. Some research suggests women do have improved well-being on estrogen hormone therapy, says Dr. Mollard, but the risks such as increased cardiovascular disease or breast cancer risk can outweigh the benefits for many patients. Current recommendations are to consider hormone therapy only to relieve severe menopausal symptoms, says Dr. Lockshin not secondary effects, such as rheumatoid arthritis control. Instead, women with RA should consider menopause a call to action to live your healthiest life, says Dr. Mollard. Eat healthy, exercise more, and quit smoking to help keep your heart healthy and help manage both RA flares and hot flashes. Yoga may help ease symptoms, according to a CreakyJoints member so might meditation.
Here are more specific strategies to ease symptoms and boost health:
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Causes Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
It can be very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a patients chronic fatigue syndrome because the symptoms can be triggered by a wide variety of factors.2,3,4,5 For example, some sufferers report that a viral infection seemed to lead to their chronic fatigue syndrome, which has led some researchers to believe that certain viruses may cause it.6 Immune system disorders may lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as hormonal imbalances in the adrenal and pituitary glands.7Stress that is not controlled and managed can lead to a worsening of chronic fatigue symptoms too.
Connection Between Menopause And Joint Pain
While joint pain is a common side effect of aging, is it also a symptom of menopause? Stiff joints that are swollen or even warm to the touch may be caused by changing hormone levels, though some medical professionals believe that this pain is not a direct result of menopause. Rather, the lower estrogen levels associated with menopause can increase the risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in women over 50, resulting in the joint pain that is being attributed to menopause itself.
Osteoporosis is the thinning of the bones and can be accelerated by the lower levels of estrogen seen in menopause. Thin and brittle bones put women at risk for developing osteoarthritis, which is characterized by swollen and painful joints. While there may not be a physical link between menopause and joint pain, they often occur around the same time and symptoms of menopause may put women at risk for developing conditions that can cause joint pain.
Another factor of joint pain in menopause is dehydration. When the body is dehydrated then uric acid can accumulate, which triggers inflammation in the joints. Because estrogen is a key player in fluid regulation it also plays a role in your dehydration levels. You see, when estrogen levels drop, so does the bodys ability to hold on to the fluid.
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Chronic Fatigue Symptoms & Its Relation To Joint Pain
Obviously, the most prevalent symptom of this condition is fatigue, but theres more to it than just that. Many people who have this disorder also experience muscle and joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throat, memory loss, poor sleep, low-grade fever, and headaches.8,9,10 Since this is a disorder that typically goes on for many months or even years, chronic fatigue is also known to lead to depression.
Get A Good Nights Sleep
Its important to try to get a good nights rest because poor sleep patterns can cause fatigue or make it worse.
If youre having trouble sleeping, or you regularly wake up feeling unrefreshed, it would probably help to look at ways you might be able to sleep better. Healthcare professionals talk about a principle called sleep hygiene, which covers things you can do to improve your chances of getting a good nights sleep.
Too much sleep can also cause fatigue. Thinking about what a good nights sleep means to you, can help. Your activity charts can tell you a lot about how youre sleeping.
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What Can Cause Muscle Pain
Unlike joint pain, muscle pain is most commonly caused by overuse, strain, or injury to a specific muscle.4 This is common among athletes and people who begin exercising after long periods of inactivity. However, muscle pain can also be due to an illness or infection in the body, and this is where the symptoms can mirror joint pain.5 Individuals may feel pain in their muscles due to influenza, chronic fatigue syndrome, and hypothyroidism. Medical conditions that can cause muscle pain, as well as joint pain, include Lyme disease,6 fibromyalgia,7and polymyalgia rheumatica.8
What Can Be Done
- Persistent joint and muscle pain should never be ignored
- If even after 4-6 months post Covid, you are having persistent pain it needs to be investigated
- If the patient suffered from autoimmune arthritis then a rheumatologist must be involved
- While the degeneration cannot be reverse, treatment should be initiated to halt or slow down the process.
- While some of the post-Covid symptoms will heal on their own in time, there are others that must not be ignored. One must take care of physical fitness and nutrition intake during the recovery process for long-term good health.
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Options For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
Although there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome and no medications that exist specifically to treat it, there are ways to manage the symptoms and keep them bearable. Since one of the most common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome is joint pain, it is helpful for many chronic pain sufferers to use a topical cream such as JointFlex to reduce achy muscles and joint symptoms that occur with this condition. Cognitive counseling may help patients regain control of their lives by managing fatigue and joint pain symptoms.2,5,6 It is also recommended that chronic fatigue patients consult a physical therapist to find exercises that are safe to perform and that get the body moving to fight fatigue, boost energy and relieve joint pain. Simple stretching exercises and range-of-motion workouts are very effective in helping individuals overcome chronic fatigue and have enough energy to do the activities they love.
Q: Why Is Pots Often Misdiagnosed
A: Many of the symptoms described above seem very cardiac-driven. However, at the hospital or ER, the doctors will find that the POTS patients heart is fine. Its actually the adrenaline thats producing a lot of these symptoms to compensate for a neurologic problem.
Often, patients have so many symptoms and are consulting so many different specialists that theres no cohesive assessment or treatment. In addition, POTS symptoms are often misdiagnosed as adrenal fatigue a term used to describe a group of symptoms when nothing else can be used to explain it.
Awareness of POTS in todays medical culture is limited. Recently, however, theres been a growing awareness of POTS thats evolving across the board. As the general population is learning more about it, the medical community is being educated as well.
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Arthritis As A Cause Of Joint Pain And Fatigue
The breakdown of fluids between the joints is responsible for rheumatoid arthritis . In the initial stages, the condition tends to be more severe during the morning hours. However, the pain gradually worsens and makes the patient feel uncomfortable for the most part of the day. This is also accompanied by exacerbating fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis will affect the joints in the wrists, hands and elbows as well as the neck and shoulders. It should also be noted that in the lower extremities, the condition tends to affect the hips, ankles and knees in addition to the joints in the toes. The irritation that tends to affect the joints is responsible for the release of cytokines into the system. This is one of the common causes of fatigue which a person undergoes. This apart, a poor appetite which is common among those suffering with arthritis pain adds to the level of fatigue. Due to a massive loss of stamina, a lot of people tend to feel more fatigued. This is one of the reasons why they restrict the amount of activities they engage in.
When Should You See A Doctor About Long Covid
According to Dr. Gumrukcu, if youre still experiencing any symptoms after the fourth week since you tested positive for a Covid-19 infection, you should seek medical help to address long Covid symptoms. Your doctor can help you determine the best path forward to hopefully be back to feeling like your old self soon.
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Joint Pain And Fatigue What Could Be The Possibilities
Fatigue is usually characterized by extreme tiredness that even rest and relaxation cannot cure. A number of factors are responsible for fatigue, including conditions that cause joint pain.
It is important to note that different people have different pain thresholds. However, constant pain brought on by sore or damaged joints cause fatigue in most people. The diseases responsible for fatigue as a result of joint pain include fibromyalgia, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Joints can swell or become inflamed while performing certain activities. It can also lead to a chronic condition. The physical and emotional energy required to relieve the joint pain and continue with everyday activities tends to contribute to the fatigue. Painful joints will also prevent a patient from getting a good nights rest. Without good sleep, fatigue will be a natural consequence.
Did You Start To Experience Any Additional Arthritis Symptoms
I went to my GP a handful of times as I had been having a few difficult months and every time my bloods were okay. I was then referred to rheumatology, offered counselling and anti-depressants. Also, I was advised to go back on amitriptyline due to my pain and fatigue levels.
The next time I called my surgery, I spoke to a female GP and she said, Has anyone spoken to you about menopause? and I said, No, I havent thought about it.
We had a fantastic conversation and she suggested that I start on the HRT pill first, this did nothing and so I went onto the HRT patch. I didnt know what to expect as I didnt know if the pain and fatigue were due to my arthritis or something else.
Gradually, I noticed my mood lift, and this helped me to manage my pain better. I decided to come off the contraceptive pill after I had advice from a homeopath who I met at a networking event. I didnt have a period, only some initial spotting on and off and period pain.
I had lost my sex drive and that has come back since being on the HRT patch!
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What Can I Do
Therefore, ensuring that all your thyroid levels are optimal, supplementing magnesium, Vitamin D or using Epsom salts for baths/foot soaks and exploring whether you have adrenal issues and subsequently treating it, could help you resolve the symptoms. Low Free T3 levels in particular should be checked for and addressed.
Fluid retention, another somewhat common hypothyroid symptom, can cause pain, too. Its most often seen around the ankles and feet and worsens with physical activity. This is also often solved with optimal thyroid and vitamin levels.
Other short term treatments for hypothyroid myopathy can include massaging the affected area/s, which increases blood flow and eases aches and pains, or a warm bath/foot soak which helps to relax muscles, bonus points if you use Epsom salts, which is a popular trick for relaxing and relieving tired and achy muscles, among other things . You can get the ones I use by clicking here.
Magnesium spray or a Turmeric Supplement is also popular if you prefer to not add another supplement or tablet to your daily regimen and acupuncture has been helpful to some thyroid patients, too. A magnesium spray that is particularly popular with thyroid patients is this one.
Gluten-caused inflammation can cause joint and muscle pain in some people, too.
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Muscle Damage Through Injury
There are many ways in which your muscles can be directly damaged. The most obvious is injury or trauma such as sporting injuries, pulls and sprains. In any muscle injury, bleeding from damaged muscle fibres occurs inside the muscle, followed by swelling and inflammation. This makes the muscle less strong and also painful to use. Localised pain is the primary symptom but weakness also results.
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Muscle And Joint Pain With Hypothyroidism
Yes, it is expected that muscle pain will appear after a long walk, workout or other activity that has caused overexertion, but it shouldnt be expected as part of your day to day life when you havent exerted your muscles very much. However, it does haunt many patients living with hypothyroidism, whether they do much physically all day or not.
Can Anemia Cause Poor Vision
Along with systemic features of anemia per se, and in relation to the primary etiology leading to the anemia, ocular findings can be classified as features common to all anemias or specific features due to specific etiologies. Rarely, loss of vision can be a presenting complaint, because most cases are asymptomatic.
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How Can I Best Learn To Cope With Musculoskeletal Pain
To help yourself cope with musculoskeletal pain:
- Avoid smoking, which increases inflammation.
- Eat a healthy, non-inflammatory diet.
- Rest the injured muscle, joint or bone.
- Stretch daily or as often as your healthcare provider advises.
- Take pain medications as prescribed.
- Use ice and heat to decrease swelling and inflammation.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Musculoskeletal pain can cause discomfort and disrupt your daily activities. Sometimes, a sudden injury such as a broken bone causes severe pain. For some people, underlying conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia lead to pain. Whether your musculoskeletal pain is acute or chronic, the right treatment can relieve your symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/10/2021.
When To See A Doctor
In some cases, home treatment cant be enough to solve the problem of painful joints and muscles. If pain lasts for a week, it is important to see a healthcare provider. You might also want to make an appointment with your doctor in case of fever, vomiting, stiffness in your neck, difficulty swallowing, and inability to move that affects your daily life.
It is also possible to prevent sore muscles by staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and doing warmups before the workout.
In case you notice some symptoms of conditions described above, avoid self-medicating since it might only worsen your condition.
Hosted by the International Pain Foundation www.internationalpain.org
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