Causes of Continuous Aching Muscles

relaxing pain and pressure in neck and shoulders
Chronically aching muscles can make it difficult to engage in the daily tasks of life. (Image: STUDIO GRAND OUEST/iStock/Getty Images)

Most people experience muscle aches and pains at one time or another, usually due to overexertion. The surrounding fascia, tendons and ligaments are often involved, as well as the muscle itself. Injury or overuse usually results in aching of a particular muscle or group of muscles, and the cause of the problem is typically obvious. When occasional muscular aches become more generalized and continuous, it may signal a chronic, underlying medical problem.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica is a syndrome that causes soreness and aching of the neck, shoulders, back and hip muscles. It sometimes occurs along with another condition called giant-cell arteritis. Polymyalgia rheumatica happens in those over the age of 50 and is more common in women, according to MedlinePlus. Characteristic symptoms of the illness are morning muscle pain and stiffness or stiffness after prolonged resting. The morning stiffness is sometimes very debilitating, making it hard to get out of bed. Flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite and weight loss are additional symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic syndrome causing widespread tissue and muscle pain. It is a common syndrome, affecting some 10 million Americans, states the National Fibromyalgia Association. It is more likely to occur in women, although anyone can have it. Generalized muscle soreness and tender points in muscle tissue are the main features of fibromyalgia, but there are many additional symptoms. Sufferers may also experience fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, digestive problems, anxiety and depression. The pain and distress of fibromyalgia may be related to an abnormality in the way those with the condition process physical stimuli, causing increased sensitivity to sensations that are not painful to others.

Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is a small organ that rests in the throat, below the voice box. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone. Most, but not all, cases are due to an autoimmune process called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, in which the gland is attacked by the immune system. The thyroid influences multiple body systems, and a low level of thyroid hormone can result in a host of physical and mental symptoms. Muscular aches and pains are common, along with dry skin and hair, constipation, poor memory, fatigue, and intolerance to cold.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and muscles and is necessary for proper calcium and phosphorus absorption. It is obtained primarily through exposure to sunlight but is also found in fortified foods and some multivitamins. Low levels of this nutrient are associated with chronic muscle aches and pains, according to The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library.

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