Muscle pain is a common complaint. Often, muscle pain occurs at night, leading to more or less severe cramps that disrupt sleep. However, muscle pain can also be present around the clock and have a deep, muscle soreness-like character. Muscle pain can occur during rest and after exertion. It usually affects the leg muscles in the upper and lower legs, but muscle pain can also occur in the arms.
Many different diseases can cause muscle pain. However, muscle pain often occurs for unknown reasons without any underlying disease – this is referred to as “idiopathic” muscle pain. Therefore, in the consultation, the focus is usually on searching for a disease that could be the cause of the symptoms. Possible causes of muscle pain include inflammation of the muscles, metabolic disorders in the muscles, or side effects of medications. Disease of the nerves that supply the muscles can also cause pain in the muscles. A special case of muscle pain is the so-called “restless legs” syndrome, in which muscle pain occurs at rest (and often when falling asleep), which immediately disappears upon movement.
Diagnostic options for muscle pain and suspicion of muscle diseases: