Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why am I experiencing random muscle pains in my arms and legs?"
I am a young adult male with a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Lately, I have been experiencing seemingly random aches and pains in my upper arms and upper legs. The aches are at times severe and are excerbated by movement of the affected area. I will have periods of about a week or so where I have the pains, usually followed by about one painless week. Pressure on the affected area alleviates the pain somewhat, and the pain seems to emanate at the muscle level.
Muscle pain is a common complaint. Diffuse muscle pain is medically known as myalgias and can have multiple causes. I would recommend that you have this evaluated by your primary care doctor. This should be evaluated because there are some severe causes of pain that are a sign of serious disease. Firstly, it is important to see if this is coming from the muscle or another location. Your primary care doctor can investigate this by testing your blood. Creatinine Phosphokinase (or CPK) and aldolase are two proteins found in normal muscle. If muscles are being injured they will be released into the blood and therefore a simple blood test can determine if your muscles are the problem. If it is your muscles that are causing the pain, there can be a couple causes. The most common is medication, with cholesterol medications being the biggest culprit. There are other autoimmune disease where the body attacks the muscles accidentally -- known as polymyositis. Another disease known as dermatomyositis occurs with skin changes as well and can be a sign of underlying cancer. These symptoms can be mimicked by nerve problems. Low electrolytes (potassium or magnesium) or other nerve injuries can cause similar problems. Talk to your doctor. This should be evaluated.
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