Among the most common symptoms of aging is muscle pain, known in the medical community as myalgia. However, this term does not just describe muscle pain. It also describes aches and pain affecting just about every part of your body, like your tendons and ligaments. Today, our pain specialists at Gateway Pain Solutions in Mesa, AZ discuss myalgia and fatigue.
The 6 Most Common Causes of Myalgia
Since myalgia is just a word that describes several types of pain, there are several potential causes of the condition. Sometimes, it’s the side effect of a medication and can be treated by switching medications. Other times, it’s just a symptom caused by an illness, like the flu. Here are the six most common causes of ligament, tendon, muscle and other soft tissue pain:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Lyme disease
- Myofascial pain syndrome
How this Pain is Treated Without Medication
Medication is among the most common treatments of pain, but pain relieving drugs aren’t right for everyone. Every painkiller has unique drawbacks. Muscle relaxants are well known for causing severe bloating, constipation and drowsiness. NSAIDs are dangerous for people who already have thin blood, and can cause such conditions as pancreatitis, stomach ulcers, indigestion and internal bleeding.
Luckily, there are several ways you can treat muscle and tendon pain without taking dangerously high doses of painkillers daily. If your muscle pain is caused by medication, speak with your primary care physician about alternative medications you can take to treat your condition. If it is caused by an infection, you can take antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection or wait for a viral infection to run its course.
If your pain is caused by chronic fatigue syndrome, the best way to ease your pain is to treat the condition causing your pain, chronic fatigue syndrome. Although there is no cure for this condition, there are several effective ways to treat the symptoms, including muscle pain, without taking organ-damaging drugs.
Chronic fatigue syndrome treatment plans are tailored to the individual suffering from the condition. If you suffer from depression caused by chronic fatigue syndrome, a low-dose antidepressant can improve pain because pain is often caused by depression. If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep at night, you may benefit greatly from minimizing caffeine consumption and sticking to a bedtime routine and schedule.
Another effective way to treat muscle pain is to apply heat therapy to the affected muscles. Heat is a great way to treat muscle pain because it improves circulation in the heated region. Improved circulation eases pain by relaxing tense muscles. If you have pain caused by both tense muscles and swelling and inflammation, you can treat your pain by alternating between heat and ice for 24 to 72 hours.
If your myalgia is caused by an injury, RICE, or rest, ice, compression and elevation, may be the most effective therapy for you. If you suffer from pain in your foot and ankle muscles after a fall, stay off of the injured leg as much as possible, using crutches or a knee scooter if necessary. Ice the affected area for 10 to 20 minutes every hour or two for 72 hours. Wear compression socks to improve blood flow in the area, and elevate your ankle above your heart when you sleep by putting a couple of throw pillows under your injured foot.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Tired, achy muscles aren’t something you just have to learn to live with. You also don’t have to undergo surgery or submit to a lifetime of pills with side effects nearly as bad as the condition. To diagnose the cause of your myalgia and work out a safe, effective pain treatment plan, contact our pain experts at Gateway Pain Solutions in Mesa, AZ to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Matthew T. Ranson, MD, MS.