According to WebMD, upper-body aches and soreness are common symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes mild to severe pain in the shoulders, chest and upper back. Individuals with fibromyalgia may also experience full-body aches, weakness and exhaustion. WebMD also suggests that upper-body aches are indicative of a viral illness such as the flu, especially when accompanied by fever and chills.
Mayo Clinic explains that aching upper-body muscles can be caused by stress, overuse and injury, but can also indicate underlying conditions such as lupus, Lyme disease or bacterial infections. It is always important for individuals with unexplained upper-body aches to consult with a physician to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.
MedlinePlus explains that pain, stiffness and tenderness of the arms, shoulders and neck are common symptoms of giant cell arteritis, a condition in which the arteries become inflamed and tender. The specific cause of the condition is unknown, but it is believed to affect individuals with malfunctioning immune systems. Additional symptoms of giant cell arteritis include exhaustion, weakness, intermittent jaw pain, fever, heavy sweating, blurred vision and bleeding gums. The condition is treatable with corticosteroid medications. Individuals with arteritis typically begin to feel relief from symptoms within a few days following their first dose of medication, but it can take up to two years for them to completely recover.