Muscle aches and pains are common and can involve more than one muscle. Muscle pain also can involve ligaments, tendons, and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones, and organs together.
Muscle pain is most frequently related to tension, overuse, or muscle injury from exercise or physically-demanding work. In these situations, the pain tends to involve specific muscles and starts during or just after the activity. It is usually obvious which activity is causing the pain.
Muscle pain also can be a sign of conditions affecting your whole body, like some infections (including the flu) and disorders that affect connective tissues throughout the body (such as lupus).
One common cause of muscle aches and pain is fibromyalgia, a condition that includes tenderness in your muscles and surrounding soft tissue, sleep difficulties, fatigue, and headaches.
The most common causes are:
- Tension or stress
- Overuse: using a muscle too much, too soon, too often
- Injury or trauma including sprains and strains
Muscle pain may also be due to:
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Infections, including:
- An abscess in the muscle
- Trichinosis (roundworm)
- Influenza (the flu)
- Lyme disease
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Many others
- Electrolyte imbalances like too little potassium or calcium
- Drugs, including:
- Statins for lowering cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, simvastatin, and lovastatin)
- ACE inhibitors for lowering blood pressure (such as enalapril and captopril)
- Many others