Myalgia: symptoms and treatment

Myalgia is a pathological process, which is characterized by the appearance of painful sensations in muscles of different localization and etiology. In addition to pain, there may be numbness of the limbs, inflammation of the skin. In a literal translation, «myalgia» means «muscle pain.»

As medical practice shows, the ailment can arise suddenly. There are no exact restrictions that concern age. Symptoms of the disease can appear even in completely healthy people at the time of intense physical activity or playing sports. People from different age groups can develop myalgia, so every person should know the symptoms and treatment of this ailment.

Etiology of the disease

There is no exact etiology of the disease. As medical practice shows, the following may provoke myalgia:

  • diseases of infectious nature
  • pathology or spinal trauma;
  • joint disease (arthritis, sciatica)
  • suffered injuries (bruises, fractures, stretch marks)
  • muscle strain during sports or hard work

In some cases, pathology can occur against a background of chronic fatigue. As a result, the muscles accumulate under-oxidized metabolic products. As a consequence of this process, severe muscle pain can occur.

Often the cause of the disease becomes a stressful state and an emotional reboot.

Myalgia subspecies

There are such subtypes of the disease:

  1. polymyositis
  2. epidemic myalgia
  3. fibromyalgia
  4. intercostal myalgia
  5. myositis.

Each of these subspecies has its own symptoms and causes.


This subtype of the disease occurs most often. Pain syndrome is observed in the region of the waist, tendons, ligaments, neck. There is fibromyalgia in two stages — primary and secondary. The pain syndrome can be supplemented by insomnia.

Causes of the progression of this disease:

  • hypothermia
  • dampness
  • Excessive strain on joints.

Fibromyalgia most often affects women who are prone to unreasonable experiences, anxieties and often fall into depression. In the risk group, adolescents also fall. Local, that is, a secondary form of pathology, more likely to be men who work hard physically or professionally, engage in heavy sports. In a particularly complex form of the disease, neuralgia (peripheral nerve damage) can develop.

Read more: fibromyalgia, its symptoms and treatment.

Epidemic myalgia

Epidemic myalgia, as a rule, arises from the ingress of the Coxsackie virus into the body. The symptomatology in this case is:

  1. elevated temperature;
  2. Severe pain, even with minor movements
  3. chills;
  4. malaise
  5. nausea, vomiting.

Pain syndrome is most pronounced in the neck, lower back, chest and upper extremities. Epidemic myalgia in official medicine is the name of Bornholm disease. In severe form and against a background of weakened immunity, the symptoms are clearly expressed about a week. With the course of the disease in a more mild form, the pain syndrome is observed no more than three days. Nevertheless, this does not mean that an epidemic myalgia should not be treated.


Myositis, as a subtype of myalgia, arises as a consequence of careless treatment of one’s health — failure to comply with bed rest during infectious and respiratory diseases, complications from other transferred diseases. That’s why you should not suffer the flu or cold «on your feet.»

However, in addition to the aforementioned etiology, myositis may occur if a person, due to some unfavorable factors, is disturbed by blood circulation in the muscle tissue. The symptomatology of this subspecies of myalgia is:

  • severe pain when walking;
  • malaise
  • short numbness of fingertips, lower limbs

Neuralgia with this form is not observed.


Poliomyositis can cause the development of muscle dystrophy. Symptoms, in this case, are as follows:

  1. headache;
  2. severe pain in the shoulder region, neck
  3. nausea, the urge to vomit;
  4. joint tension.

In the next stage, the pain syndrome covers the lower limbs, leg muscles and even the pelvic region.

Intercostal myalgia

Intercostal myalgia is the most complex form of the disease, which, moreover, is rather difficult to diagnose. The patient suffers from severe pain in the chest area, which is unreasonable with any injuries or other diseases. Acute pain can occur even from slight movement of the hand or a weak cough.

Pathogenesis of the disease

As a result of intercostal myalgia, there is a «squeezing» of nerve endings in the area where they exit from the spinal column. Neuralgia of this nature can also occur with osteochondrosis, which greatly complicates the diagnosis.

Etiology of the myalgia subtype

The most common cause of the disease is the following:

  • pathology of the spine;
  • suffered injuries;
  • infectious diseases
  • ARVI, influenza.

The main course of therapy, in this case, is aimed at reducing pain. In order to assign a correct course of treatment, the exact causes of the onset of the illness should be established from the outset.


To diagnose one symptom only, even beforehand, this disease can not be. The mandatory diagnostic program uses both laboratory and instrumental methods:

  1. general, biochemical blood test
  2. muscle ultrasound
  3. muscle strength research
  4. CT head;
  5. examination of the neck, joints.

Only a full diagnosis makes it possible to accurately diagnose and prescribe the correct treatment.


Self-medication here is more than inappropriate. Especially if there are signs of neuralgia. Moreover, without a full diagnosis it is impossible to find out the true causes of the disease.

The choice of methods of treatment directly depends on what became the cause of the pathology. If the pain syndrome significantly worsens the patient’s quality of life, then prescribe such drugs:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • sedatives (if the cause of the ailment is a nervous shock);
  • Non-narcotic analgesics.

Also for the removal of severe pain prescribed ointments and gels, as well as an excellent effect gives a massage. On average, 6-8 procedures are sufficient for the removal of the pain syndrome. But it all depends on the condition of the patient, the subtype of myalgia.

In order to prevent the disease, it is necessary to take care of your health, not to suffer a cold «on your feet» and to seek medical help in a timely manner.