As Body aches mainly referred to as any sensation of pain in the extremities and other areas that are heavily muscled. In the plural form, limb pain is also used in medical literature for the combination of predominantly symmetrical myalgia (muscle pain), arthralgia (joint pain) and ostealgia (bone pain).
What are body aches?As already mentioned, the most common causes of body aches are: flu, cold or other infectious diseases. The pain in the limbs is to be understood as a warning sign.
Pain in the limbs is pain that emanates from the extremities of a person. As a rule, pain in the limbs is a combined pain sensation that is made up of individual sensations from the muscles, bones and joints. Body aches and pains can be mild or very severe, persistent or sporadic - it depends on the cause and the exact type of pain sensation.
Pain in the limbs caused by the muscles is known as myalgia. They are often caused by infectious diseases. This type of body aches and pains result from an infection with adenoviruses or from various forms of flu. Trichinosis, caused by worms in the meat, also brings pain in the limbs as a symptom - it is the most common disease associated with worm infestation in Central Europe. Myalgias also arise through mechanical stress on the muscles in everyday life or through the fibromyalgia syndrome, in which inexplicable pain in the limbs occurs.
The joint-based limb pain is known as arthralgia. They can also be caused by infectious diseases such as the flu, measles or chickenpox]. Another common cause of this type of body ache are diseases such as osteoarthritis or arthritis, but also rheumatism. Injuries such as bruises or other similar trauma can also play a role. Arthralgia, along with other symptoms, also occurs in autoimmune diseases such as sarcoid.
Occasionally, pain in the limbs can also be explained by pain from the bones. This is known as an Ostealgia. Bone pain can also occur with infectious diseases, but is also a warning symptom of serious illness. If the pain in the limbs persists, you should consult a doctor, as cancers such as leukemia may be the cause.
Pain in the limbs is often not even noticed because the pulling pain is barely noticeable. However, it can also become very strong in individual cases and the quality of life of the person affected is limited. Pain in the limbs is usually temporary. Chronic or long-lasting pain in the limbs occurs less often and mostly affects the extremities such as legs and arms.
As already mentioned, the most common causes of body aches are: flu, cold or other infectious diseases. The pain in the limbs is to be understood as a warning sign that sets an example for the body's defense reactions.
In addition, body aches often occur in older people who suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatism or gout. Long-lasting body aches and pains are often an accompanying symptom of diabetes mellitus, alcohol abuse or poisoning.
Aches and pains in the arms are common with nerve pain and inflammation. Sometimes, however, pain also radiates from the spine to the arm region. Pain in the legs can also be caused by diseases of the sciatic nerve or by injuries, compressions or tumors. Circulatory disorders are also the cause of pain in the limbs.
You can find your medication here➔ Medicines for body aches and colds
Diseases with this symptom
- Diabetes mellitus
- Sarcoid (Boeck's disease)
- HIV infection
- Pour boiling water over a handful of Gundelrebe and let stand a little. The bath water should be lukewarm. Gundelrebe helps with gout, body aches, and loin pain.
Diagnosis & course
Pain in the limbs is often a symptom of a cold and is therefore not an independent disease. According to this, a doctor asks the patient with limb pain about other symptoms that indicate a flu-like infection.
If this can be ruled out, neurological examinations are used in which reflexes or muscle strength are tested. Neurological diseases are confirmed by the doctor in this way - or excluded. The latter also brings cardiovascular problems into focus as a cause. X-rays and computed tomographies can also be used.
If you have a cold, the pain in the limbs worsens in the course of that, but slowly subsides with it.However, as a symptom of another illness, body aches may persist over the long term.
Pain in the limbs is a typical cold and flu symptom. They can occur sporadically even without such a cause, without this having to have any serious background. However, this also carries the risk that problematic pain in the limbs will not be recognized as such in good time. It starts in childhood, because it is precisely now that recurring pain in the limbs is often referred to as growth pain and then forgotten again.
Quite a few rare diseases, which are usually difficult, are not recognized promptly - until they have reached a stage where they can no longer be overlooked. Even if body ache is not a serious problem in children, the little ones may find it harder to grow than they should. Similar problems can arise in old age. Pains in the limbs are of course no longer a sign of growth, but rather indicate joint wear and tear.
Even in old age, many people with painful limbs go to the doctor too late because they assume that the symptoms are normal and can simply be expected in old age. In many cases, something can still be done about joint wear and tear that is recognized in good time, but at least the pain can be efficiently alleviated. In the event of persistent or very uncomfortable pain in the limbs, people of all ages should therefore always consult a doctor.
When should you go to the doctor?
When it comes to pain in the limbs, many people find it particularly difficult to decide whether to see a doctor. This is likely because these symptoms can be the result of a variety of different causes. It is therefore particularly important to carefully weigh up all the circumstances of the specific individual case. In case of doubt, however, this consideration should be avoided for a visit to the doctor, as otherwise the success of the treatment could not only be marginally endangered. In addition, there is a risk of infecting other people without prompt treatment.
A doctor must therefore be consulted if the pain in the limbs is intense and occurs without warning. In these cases, a medical diagnosis that also takes the other symptoms into account is particularly important.
However, some pain in the limbs can initially be treated independently with common home remedies, so that a visit to the doctor is not mandatory. In the case of mild symptoms in particular, which are probably only part of a harmless infection, you do not need to consult a doctor immediately. Those affected should first take care of their bodies and observe them carefully.
If there is no improvement, medical advice should be sought. Even if the pain in the limbs worsens, one should not wait. A visit to the doctor is then mandatory in order to clarify the causes and initiate the necessary further steps.
Doctors & therapists in your area
Treatment & Therapy
Depending on the cause, pain in the limbs can be treated very differently. If you have a cold or flu, cold compresses are recommended to relieve the pain. Medicines containing acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen and paracetamol help with severe pain in the limbs. Lots of fluids in the form of linden blossom teas and taking care of the body also help. Plenty of sleep and rest should be maintained.
If the pain in the limbs is caused by an illness, this should be treated primarily. In the short term, however, painkillers, e.g. Analgesics help reduce pain. An operation should only be necessary in extreme cases.
Body aches and pains caused by infectious diseases are usually left untreated and instead focus on the underlying infectious disease. Warmth, massages and rest are helpful against such aching limbs. This can alleviate the symptoms or even make them disappear completely.
More specific diseases such as osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases or cancer must be treated individually. For diseases whose main symptom is severe joint pain, pain relievers are often prescribed to make the symptom at least bearable. Surgery to replace a damaged joint may be required if that is the cause.
In other cases, the burden must be relieved from the aching extremities to prevent joint pain and improve quality of life. In addition, drug therapy is often required to combat the actual cause of the joint pain.
Outlook & forecast
In most cases, body aches are the first signs of the flu or a cold. Affected people feel pain in their arms and legs and feel weak. Pain in the limbs often occurs when the muscles in the limbs are stressed too much.
In most cases, this pain goes away after a few hours to a few days. The healing of the symptom proceeds without complications. When the limb pain occurs, the affected limbs should not be particularly stressed so that they can recover and do not result in real muscle soreness.
The pain in the limbs is often followed by a real flu or cold. Here the usual remedies should be taken against it. The pain in the limbs can also be treated with an ointment. If the pain persists for more than a few days and does not decrease, a doctor should be asked for advice. In most cases, however, the pain in the limbs disappears after a short time and is not a health problem.
You can find your medication here➔ Medicines for body aches and colds
Joint pain and body aches can only be completely prevented to a certain extent. In sport and in everyday life, care should be taken not to subject muscles and joints to excessive stress. This harms them and can lead to injuries that cause joint pain. The right equipment is required for sport, other stresses should be avoided if possible.
If you have a known condition that causes joint pain, you should talk to your doctor about preventive measures. He can prescribe pain medication or give tips on how to deal with joint jokes in everyday life. If necessary, he can also initiate further examinations for targeted pain therapy.
Home remedies & herbs for body aches
You can do that yourself
Various measures help to relieve pain in the limbs. If body aches and pains are accompanied by a febrile cold or infectious disease, calf wraps are recommended. A cloth should be dipped in water at around 20 degrees Celsius, wrung out well and then wrapped around the calf. Wraps are ideally used lying down and should remain on the body for at least 10 to 15 minutes. The cooling compresses have a pain-relieving effect, stimulate blood circulation and reduce fever.
Ingredients of a homemade chicken broth have an antibacterial effect and thus inhibit infections of the upper respiratory tract. Pain in the limbs is also relieved. Various medicinal plants have anti-inflammatory effects and can be used as home remedies for body aches. These include, for example, arnica, chamomile blossoms, willow bark, goldenrod, elderberries and linden blossoms. As a tea infusion, the herbs can relieve pain in the limbs. The tea should be drunk throughout the day.
If the pain in the limbs is not accompanied by a fever, a hot bath can be very beneficial. It increases body temperature and promotes blood circulation. The bathtub should be filled with 38 degree warm water. There is also menthol, thyme, eucalyptus or spruce needle oil. The oil develops its pain-relieving effect after just 15 minutes of bathing.
With aching limbs, rest, lots of rest and sleep help.