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Myalgia is pain affecting the striated skeletal muscles, namely the muscles that are under the voluntary control of the central nervous system. It mainly affects the neck muscles, those located along the spine, the muscles of upper and lower limbs and of the trunk. Many causes may be involved, such as a contusion, trauma, causing a wrong back movement or lumbago or certain diseases such as influenza, hepatitis, polio and other neurological diseases.


The symptoms of myalgia represent the very definition of the word: muscle aches. Looking for several characteristics of pain will help guide the doctor towards a cause. The pain can be:
  • located in a single muscle or group of muscles;
  • generalized or otherwise associated with other pains like joint pain;
  • sudden;
  • progressive;
  • numbing;
  • tingling;
  • burning;
  • increased with mobilization;
  • or occurring even at rest, in the absence of mobilization;
  • muscle atrophy may also be present.


The diagnosis of myalgia is easy to make: the patient points to the area that hurts and clinical examination may reveal pain or it may remain subjective. Various tests are available to find the source of pain, including an ultrasound, which is used to indicate a hematoma or a strained or torn muscle. A blood test can show the presence of creatine phosphokinase, which is increased in some cases.


There are many treatments that cause muscle pain. Identifying and treating the cause generally allows for pain relief. Regarding the traumatic onset of myalgia, it helps to apply ice to the painful area, raise the limb and compress it slightly with a bandage. It is possible, in the case of heavy persistent pain, to take painkillers and medications that relax the muscle called muscle relaxants. Resting is also recommended.

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