One of the reasons why a fever (pyrexia) is such an inconvenience for people is due to the slew of symptoms it brings with it. When one is suffering from a fever, they experience a combination of chills, increased body temperature, loss of appetite, fatigue, and muscle pain all at the same time. You’re probably wondering how pain in muscle tissues (myalgia) is a direct symptom of pyrexia. Today, we’ll understand why fever causes muscle pain.
According to Dr. Gerald Loughlin, chairman of the pediatric department at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital, muscle pain is one of the human body’s defense mechanisms against pyrexia. When the body goes into fever, it generates heat to destroy some of the virus or bacteria infecting the body outright. He explains that this increase in body temperature. But at the same time, this heat breaks downs muscle tissue, increasing the production of proteins, which the body needs to fight the virus.
Dr. Loughlin adds that myalgia may also occur when the bacteria or virus is located within the muscle tissues. The body’s immune cells may be there as well, fighting the sickness, which is another possible cause of the body aches and pains when one is down with the fever.
Now you know how fever causes muscle pain, you’re probably wondering how to deal with it when it starts. Here are some ways on how to do that:
1) Rest – During the onset of myalgia, limit your physical activity. In fact, do not engage in anything strenuous or tiresome. As much as possible, stay in bed, rest, and let the body fight the foreign invaders. Muscle/body pain is a sign that you should take a time out and let the human body heal itself.
2) Over-the-counter drugs – When the pain becomes unbearable, buying medicine for fever and muscle pain, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, will do just fine. Just as a disclaimer, these medicines won’t fully get rid of the pain. It will just provide temporary relief during the remainder of the fever. It is still highly recommended that you rest even while you are on medication.
3) Visit your doctor – If the pain persists even after resting and taking medicines after a week, consult your physician immediately. You already may have an illness as serious as flu (influenza) that requires an entirely different treatment altogether.
We hope that you learned something new today. Remember, when muscle pain strikes during a fever, it is a completely normal bodily reaction. Follow the steps outlined here to ensure you get better soon!