Almost everyone has sore, aching muscles now and then. Muscle pain (myalgia) can range from mild to excruciating. Though it often goes away in a few days, sometimes muscle pain can linger for months. Muscle pain can develop almost anywhere in your body, including your neck, back, legs and even your hands.
The most common causes of muscle pain are tension, stress, overuse and minor injuries. This type of pain is usually localized, affecting just one or more muscles or parts of your body. Systemic muscle pain, which you feel throughout your body, is different. It's more often the result of an infection, an illness or a side effect of a medication.
Common causes of muscle pain include:
- Chronic exertional compartment syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Influenza (flu)
- Lyme disease
- Medications, especially statins
- Muscle cramp
- Muscle strain or rupture
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Post-polio syndrome
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Rhabdomyolysis, a potentially life-threatening condition in which muscle fibers break down and enter your bloodstream — sometimes as a side effect of using statin drugs
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
- Sprains and strains
- Staph infections
- Viral infections
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.