For muscle pain from overuse or injury, rest that body part and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Apply ice for the first 24 - 72 hours of an injury to reduce pain and inflammation. After that, heat often feels more soothing.
Muscle aches from overuse and fibromyalgia often respond well to massage. Gentle stretching exercises after a long rest period are also helpful.
Regular exercise can help restore proper muscle tone. Walking, cycling, and swimming are good aerobic activities to try. A physical therapist can teach you stretching, toning, and aerobic exercises to feel better and stay pain-free. Begin slowly and increase workouts gradually. Avoid high-impact aerobic activities and weight lifting when injured or while in pain.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep and try to reduce stress. Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to help you sleep and relax.
If home measures are not working, call your doctor, who will consider prescription medication, physical therapy referral, or referral to a specialized pain clinic.
If your muscle aches are due to a specific disease, follow the instructions of your doctor to treat the primary illness.
Call your doctor if:
- Your muscle pain persists beyond 3 days
- You have severe, unexplained pain
- You have any sign of infection, like swelling or redness around the tender muscle
- You have poor circulation in the area where you have muscles aches (for example, in your legs)
- You have a tick bite or a rash
- Your muscle pain has been associated with starting or changing doses of a medicine, such as a statin (atorvastatin, simvastatin, or lovastatin)
- You have sudden weight gain, water retention, or you are urinating less than usual
- You are short of breath or have difficulty swallowing
- You have muscle weakness or inability to move any part of your body
- You have vomiting, a very stiff neck, or high fever