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Chronic Muscle Pain

Regular exercisers should expect their muscles to feel sore on the day after they exercise intensely, but if the soreness persists, they need a medical evaluation.

When you exercise vigorously, your muscles are injured. Muscle biopsies taken on the day after intense exercise show bleeding into the muscle fibers and disruption of the Z-bands that hold muscle fiber filaments together as they slide by each other. The soreness you feel should usually disappear within 48 hours, and even with the most severe workouts, it should disappear within a week or two.  See Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

If the soreness remains after a few weeks, you should check with your doctor. You may have an infection anywhere in your body, an autoimmune disease or other treatable condition. You may be given a diagnosis of "fibromyalgia,"  but this means  that your doctor has not yet found any of the known causes of chronic muscle pain and has no idea why your muscles are sore. There are reports of people with muscle pain and normal liver tests who are then found to have hepatitis C, which can be effectively treated. If you have urinary tract symptoms in addition to your muscle pain, you may be infected with mycoplasma or other bacteria which can be treated with antibiotics. You could have Lyme disease or some type of reactive arthritis. Don't accept a diagnosis of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome until you have a thorough evaluation for a hidden infection or other treatable causes of chronic muscle pain.

Checked 12/12/18

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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