Muscular pain which lasts for periods in excess of six months is generally defined as chronic muscle pain. Muscular pain which is of a continuous nature can destroy the very quality of a person’s life and take a heavy toll on their physical and mental well being.
Depending on the intensity of pain, chronic muscular pain can be categorized as mild, excruciating, continuous, episodic or completely incapacitating pain. Muscle pain which can originate in any part of the body can be triggered by a multitude of factors including poor posture, over exercising or extreme mental stress. However, there are many instances where incapacitating muscle pain has been triggered by no specific factor as such. In certain rare circumstances, a serious underlying medical condition can activate chronic muscle pain.
Causes of Chronic Muscle Pain
Some of the common causes behind chronic muscle pain have been discussed in this article.
Nearly 5.8 million Americans are affected by fibromyalgia, a condition which can set off chronic muscle pain. This condition can make every single muscle of the body ache with pain. In fact, an all encompassing muscle pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. Along with chronic muscular pain this condition can also activate chronic fatigue.
Men are more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia as compared to women. Hence, the number of men who complain of chronic muscle pain is significantly higher than women. The chronic muscular pain activated by fibromyalgia can best be described as twitching, shooting, throbbing, stabbing or aching pain.
Muscular pain brought about by fibromyalgia may be further aggravated by conditions like insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue and depression. The best way to combat chronic muscle pain produced by fibromyalgia is to eat a healthy diet, exercise properly and sleep peacefully. A healthy mind in a healthy body can ensure increased production of the hormone serotonin which can significantly reduce pain levels in the body.
Arthritis can cause a lot of pain in the joints of the body. However, a rare type of arthritis called muscular arthritis can cause a lot of inflammation and pain in the muscles. Nearly fifty thousand Americans are afflicted by this condition.
Muscular arthritis can affect a person’s normal movements. In the initial stages of this condition, a person may experience difficulty performing everyday tasks like climbing a flight of stairs or standing up after sitting down in the same position for a long time. However, as this condition progresses, the patient may experience difficulty in swallowing food and even breathing. People between the ages of 30 and 50 are most likely to complain of chronic muscle pain brought about by muscular arthritis.
When the nerves located along the back, spine or other regions of the body become pinched or compressed between two bones it can trigger a lot of muscle pain and inflammation. A severe muscular strain or injury, bad posture, obesity, repetitive movements are some of the causative factors responsible for pinched nerves. Steroidal injections, applying pressure directly on the nerves and surgery are some of the best ways to alleviate the chronic muscle pain caused by pinched muscles.
Not many people are aware of the fact that chronic muscle pain can be triggered by diabetes. Diabetics have a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can hinder normal blood circulation. Poor blood circulation can precipitate severe muscle pain.
People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing a medical condition called diabetic amyotrophy. This is a distinct type of diabetic neuropathy which can lead to wasting, pain and weakness in the pelvifemoral muscles. So, individuals with severe diabetes have higher chances of suffering from chronic muscle pain.
Poor posture as well as a major spinal injury can lead to bulged spinal discs. When the spinal discs bulge, they can compress the nearby muscles. This can trigger severe inflammation and pain in the muscles. Surgery, physical therapy and medications are some of the treatment options to reduce chronic muscle pain caused by bulging discs.
Do you suffer from either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism? If so, you fall into the high risk category for suffering from chronic muscle pain. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can trigger myopathies, which is a condition that affects the muscular tissues of the body due to metabolic conditions, abnormal biochemical substances or inflammation.
People with hyperthyroidism have a greater risk of suffering from chronic muscle pain like tarsal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. People with hypothyroidism on the other hand have an increased risk of suffering from conditions like Graves disease which can precipitate loss of muscle strength and tone.
Important information to and from the brain are transmitted by a group of nerves called peripheral nerves. Peripheral neuropathy which can be caused by major trauma or disease condition can lead to severe damage of the peripheral nerves. Once the nerves of the peripheral nervous system are damaged, it can cause loss of sensation. In severe cases as this condition progresses a person may complain of chronic muscle pain.
Skin inflammation, muscle inflammation and muscle weakness are precipitated by a disease condition called dermatomyositis.
Women are more likely to suffer from this condition than men. Dermatomyositis can lead to muscular atrophy and chronic muscle pain.
Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome
Chronic muscular pain can also be triggered by chronic exertional compartment syndrome. People who engage in repetitive activities or high impact exercises are very likely to suffer from this condition. Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome can cause excruciating pain in the muscles. However, taking adequate amounts of rest after engaging in high intensity activities can help to alleviate the muscular inflammation and pain.
This is a rare type of disease brought about by infection, injury or taking certain type of medications. Myositis can affect the immune system of the body. When the immune system is affected it can cause the healthy muscles of the body to become highly inflamed.
Inflammation of the muscles can lead to severe pain. People who suffer from this condition often complain of excruciating muscle pain along their back, legs, arms and neck.