What Are the Types, Causes and Treatments for Myalgia?

Myalgia, or muscle pain, is a symptom of many disorders including fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica and myofascial pain syndrome, and causes and treatment depend on the disorder, explains Mayo Clinic. Myalgia can also be localized pain due to tension and minor injuries, and it is treated with physical therapy and time.

Those with fibromyalgia have widespread musculoskeletal pain that is accompanied by fatigue, cognitive difficulties and depression, according to Mayo Clinic. Researchers speculate that the cause of fibromyalgia involves genetics, infections, and physical or emotional trauma. The exact mechanism of pain is believed to be due to repeated nerve stimulation, which causes the brain to develop a memory of the pain and become more sensitive. Treatment for the disorder involves medication, therapy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Polymyalgia rheumatica sufferers have pain and stiffness occurring in their shoulders, neck, upper arms and hips, according to Mayo Clinic. The exact cause of the disorder is not known, but it is believed to be due to genetics and environmental exposure to something such as a virus. Treatment for the pain involves corticosteroids, vitamin supplements and other medications.

Myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by pressure on sensitive points in muscles that causes pain in unrelated parts of the body, according to Mayo Clinic. The cause of this syndrome is usually muscle injury or overuse that leads to sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers. Treatment for the disorder involves medications and physical therapy exercises such as stretching.