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What is body pain?

Body pain is an unpleasant sensation in the entire body making you feel tired and lethargic. It can happen suddenly or sometimes, even slowly and can linger for days together. This type of pain can be felt in soft tissues like tendons or ligaments or it can be felt in the various muscles. Sometimes, it indicates an underlying severe disease, while sometimes, it may be an expression of anxiety.

What are its main associated signs and symptoms?

Body pain can be acute or chronic, but more or less, it presents with similar symptoms; acute (lasting for a few days) or chronic (lasting more than a month). The causes of both types are different.

Symptoms associated with body pain include:

  • Pain at various spots or areas in the body.
  • Tender points (increased pain felt on pressing these points).
  • Fatigue
  • Disturbed sleep; waking up unrefreshed in the morning.
  • Morning stiffness (lasting under 30 minutes).
  • Tingling and numbness in hands, feet, arms etc.
  • Headache
  • Anxiety

What are its main causes?

Though, you may have same or similar signs and symptoms for acute, as well as, chronic body pain.

Causes of acute body pain include:

Causes of chronic body pain include:

How is it diagnosed and treated?

At times, it is difficult to pinpoint a diagnosis for body pain; yet, an adequate medical history with clinical examination helps to establish the diagnosis and cause of body pain. Apart from medical history and physical examination, there are certain blood investigations that may be carried out to determine the cause of body pain. These tests include:

  • Complete blood count – Helps to determine anaemia
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) – Helps to rule out inflammation present in the body.
  • Alkaline phosphatase with aspartate transaminase – To confirm the incidence of muscle breakdown.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) factor – To confirm diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Anti-nuclear antibodies – To rule out any auto-immune cause of body pain.
  • Vitamin B12 and D3 levels –To rule out nutritional deficiency of vitamin B12 and D3.

Even after these tests, if the cause is not determined, then a session with a psychologist or a counsellor can be of help in determining the underlying psychologic factors like stress, anxiety, and depression.

Once the cause is ascertained, depending on the cause, the course of treatment is decided. Some patients may require just symptomatic treatment, while some may simply require placebo, along with, counselling sessions.

Certain medicines used for treatment include:

  • Analgesics – Paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like diclofenac) can be taken for pain relief.
  • Muscle relaxants – Body pain can be due to muscle tightness; taking muscle relaxants can help in relieving body pain
  • Vitamin supplements – If the cause of body pain is due to nutritional deficiencies, taking vitamin B12 (or even B complex), vitamin D (along with calcium), can relieve the pain rapidly.
  • Anxiolytics or anti-depressants – These are not over-the-counter medicines, and usually require a psychologist’s prescription, but these medicines can help if the underlying cause is of psychologic origin.

In certain cases, when body pain is associated with muscle tightness; physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage, or other alternative therapies can offer good relief from the symptoms.

  1. Medicines for Body Pain
  2. Doctors for Body Pain
Dr. Urmish Donga

Dr. Urmish Donga

Orthopedics
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Dr. Sunil Kumar Yadav

Dr. Sunil Kumar Yadav

Orthopedics
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Dr. Deep Chakraborty

Dr. Deep Chakraborty

Orthopedics
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Dr. Darsh Goyal

Dr. Darsh Goyal

Orthopedics
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References

  1. Stuart Ralston, Ian Penman, Mark Strachan, Richard Hobson. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine E-Book. 23rd Edition: Elsevier; 23rd April 2018. Page Count: 1440
  2. J. Larry Jameson et al. Rediff Books Flipkart Infibeam Find in a library All sellers » Shop for Books on Google Play Browse the world's largest eBookstore and start reading today on the web, tablet, phone, or ereader. Go to Google Play Now » Books on Google Play Harrison's P. 20, illustrated; McGraw-Hill Education, 2018. 4400 pages
  3. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Treatment - Fibromyalgia
  4. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; [Internet]
  5. Sheldon Cohen et al. Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk. The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, and approved February 27, 2012.

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