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Long-term muscle pain, what now?

  • Article
  • 2023-11-10

Recurring long-term muscle pain can be a sign of several underlying causes, ranging from mild to serious conditions. If you experience persistent muscle pain, it is important to determine the cause by seeing a doctor for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis. Here are some possible causes of persistent muscle pain:

  • Excessive exertion or strain: If you regularly do intense exercise or overload your muscles, this can lead to muscle pain. Rest and recovery are important to give muscles time to heal.

  • Injuries: Previous injuries to muscles, tendons, or joints can lead to persistent pain, especially if the injury has not fully healed or if complications have occurred.

  • Muscle diseases: Some muscle diseases, such as fibromyalgia, polymyositis or dermatomyositis, can cause long-term muscle pain.

  • Inflammatory diseases: Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus can cause muscle pain due to inflammation in the body.

  • Infections: Certain infections, such as viral infections (e.g. flu), bacterial infections or parasitic infections, can cause muscle pain.

  • Medication: Some medications, such as statins used to lower cholesterol, can cause muscle pain as a side effect.

  • Neurological disorders: Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or neuropathies can cause muscle pain.

  • Metabolic disorders: Conditions such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), diabetes or electrolyte disturbances can cause muscle pain.

  • Stress and anxiety: Prolonged stress and anxiety can lead to muscle tension and muscle pain.

  • Other factors: Poor sleep, poor nutrition, dehydration and poor posture can also contribute to muscle pain.

To determine the cause of persistent muscle pain, a doctor will likely take a detailed medical history, perform a physical examination, and may recommend additional tests such as blood tests, imaging (e.g., MRI), or electromyography (EMG) to assess muscle activity.

The treatment for persistent muscle pain will depend on the underlying cause. This can range from physiotherapy and medication to lifestyle adjustments and stress management. It is important not to ignore the symptoms and seek medical help in a timely manner to obtain the correct diagnosis and treatment.


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