Picture this: you wake up in the morning and your body aches all over. We’re talking about your joints, all of your muscles, you can even feel your eyelids aching. You don’t want to get out of bed.
You try to imagine back to the event of yesterday: did I do something to cause all of this pain? Did I run a 5k that I forgot about? Did I just sleep weirdly? Or is something else going on here?
If you’re suffering from full-body aches and pains, you’re going to want to know why they’re happening and what you can do about them.
Let’s figure out what’s causing your body aches and, more importantly, what you can do to fix them.
Don’t stress out about this one! You may not think that just plain old stress could cause your whole body to ache. But it is possible and it does happen fairly often.
When you’re stressed out, all of your muscles tense up. Stress throws you into a fight-or-flight mode, prepping your body for the worst. Even if you’re not about to have to fight a bear, your body can’t tell the difference.
All of this muscle tension leads to muscle fatigue. Your muscles get tired of working overtime and they start to get sore and achy.
Stress also causes tension in the muscles of your neck, which leads to those lovely stress headaches that you may get.
Full-body aches caused by stress are luckily easy to treat if you have the right tools.
So, short of quitting your job and all of the obligations you have in life, what can you do to treat body pain caused by stress? There are a few stress-reduction techniques you should try out.
- Get enough sleep every night- Try setting an alarm on your phone or a timer on your social media apps so that you can’t access them after bedtime. You could also take melatonin if you’re still having trouble getting to sleep.
- Exercise- You don’t have to hit the gym super hard, but try moving your body around a little bit.
- Yoga- Yoga is exercise, but it can be even more effective for stress management. It causes you to lower your heart rate and stretch out your muscles, relieving tension and making you feel better.
- Massage- Stress knots are a nasty side effect of too much stress. You can relieve them by using a massage technique or a massage gun to release pent-up tension in tight muscles.
- Balance your work and social life- If work is making you so stressed that your whole body aches, consider if you can cut back a little of the workload.
Cold or Flu
The one we all fear: the flu.
The flu and regular old colds are viruses that attack your body’s healthy cells. This causes weakness and full-body soreness throughout your muscles.
To fend off these attackers, our immune system goes to work. This is what causes the fever that we get when we get the flu.
On top of fever, exhaustion, and those intense body aches, you really just feel awful when you get one of these viruses.
So what can you do about your body aches the next time you get the flu or a seasonal cold? The key here is to treat the source of the issue.
- See a doctor- You want to get a test to see if you actually have the flu so that you can call into work and get some advice.
- Fluids- drink a lot of water and some electrolyte drinks to replenish your dehydrated system.
- Pain relievers- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen to fight off body aches and reduce fever.
- Sleep- Yep, sleep is on here again. When you have the flu, your body is working really hard, and rest is key to keep it that way.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Many of us, especially if we don’t spend much time outside, will have a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is essential for things like bone strength and health, as well as many other body processes. Not getting enough vitamin D in your diet can lead to a lack of energy, full-body aches, and weakening bones.
Luckily, there are some ways you can get vitamin D back into your diet and reverse this issue.
The short answer to this treatment question is to get more vitamin D into your system. Here are a few ways to do just that.
- Soak up the sun- Spending a little bit more time out in the sun can give you some more vitamin D in a natural way. Make sure to wear your sunscreen, though.
- Diet- Eat more foods that are high in vitamin D. These include mushrooms, egg yolk, and many fish.
- Take a supplement- Add a vitamin D supplement that contains d2 and d3 for best results.
Overexertion from Exercise
Did you work out really hard yesterday? If so, that could definitely be the cause of today’s aches and pains.
Soreness after working out is very common. It’s sort of what you’re really going for, usually. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.
If your body aches are severe or you notice a muscle is inflamed, however, go to a doctor. You may have injured yourself.
If you’re just a regular sore, here’s how to recover over-exercised muscles.
You have a few different courses of action to choose from here, so go with what works best for you.
- Hot and cold- Putting ice on your sore muscles can reduce inflammation and your brain’s reception of the pain. Heat can open up blood vessels and expel lactic acid. Or, switch between both for maximum benefits.
- Massage gun- Using a good massage gun can also promote your muscles to heal more quickly. It uses percussion therapy to release tension and increase blood flow, promoting a quicker recovery.
- Pain relievers- Taking a pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also reduce swelling and relieve those sore muscles.
- Rest- Take some time to allow your achy muscles to recover and repair themselves. Make sure you get plenty of sleep after a hard workout day.
Anemia occurs when you don’t have enough red blood cells that are functioning in your body.
It can be caused by a lack of minerals in your body like iron, folate, or vitamin B-12. It causes body aches but also fatigue, cold hands and feet, and pale skin.
This condition should be diagnosed by a doctor using blood tests.
How can you treat anemia? Let’s take a look at your options here.
- Supplements- Take things like iron, vitamin B-12, and folate to boost red blood cell count. You can even get a B-12 shot.
- Diet- Eat more iron-rich foods like red meats and dark, leafy green vegetables.
- Blood infusions- If the other 2 options just aren’t doing it for you, your doctor may order you to get a blood infusion.
See a Doctor
If your body is still achy after a week, or if the pain is unbearable, you should go see a doctor.
If you have regular body aches, get the relief you need fast.