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Aches and pains are common and most people will experience them at some point. A lot of the time, aches and pains come with infections such as colds and other viruses but they can also be a sign that something else is wrong.
The best course of action for any worrying aches and pains is to see a doctor. A rheumatologist will usually be able to diagnose a range of illnesses causing aches and pains from fibromyalgia to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). While these conditions can sound scary, a diagnosis is a useful tool for working out a treatment strategy.
But before you start worrying about chronic illnesses, here are 3 more common reasons for aches and pains and how to deal with them.
A Cold or Another Virus
When your body is fighting off an infection, be it viral or bacterial, it quite often results in inflammation. This is a perfectly normal bodily response, just like sneezing and coughing but it can be really uncomfortable. While you are fighting your infection, you must get plenty of rest and allow your body time to heal itself.
If your aching persists for longer than 2 weeks, after your infection has otherwise passed or you are left feeling drained and fatigued, you must seek a consultation with a doctor. Some viruses like mono can have long lasting effects so seeking medical advice is always a good idea.
You Aren’t Sleeping Well
Sleep is so important but we are all guilty of not getting enough proper sleep. There is a strong connection between those suffering with chronic pain and those who feel that they don’t get enough sleep. When you prioritise sleep and give yourself time to relax and destress, you may well find that your aches and pains disappear.
Getting enough hours in bed is one thing but sleep quality is also really important. Choosing the right mattress is essential as this will ensure a comfortable nights’ sleep and will probably reduce aches and pains from sleeping in a weird position too. Similarly, cooling your bedroom, choosing multiple blankets over a single duvet and putting up blackout blinds can really improve your sleeping conditions.
You Spend All Day Sat Down
One of the most common reasons for back pain is a sedentary lifestyle. Over hundreds of years of evolution, the human body has been refined to run around and work hard. Now, in the age of the computer, our muscles are seizing up and feeling confused about the whole situation.
Fortunately, a lack of exercise is a fairly easy fix. Going for a walk during your lunch hour is a good way to stretch your legs and lengthen your back. Pilates and yoga are also great for building muscle strength and flexibility without doing cardio. As long as you exercise well and give your muscles time to heal between workouts, you will find that your aches and pains reduce and you have more energy too.
If you are worried about your aches and pains, and they are persisting or getting worse, you should always seek a medical opinion.