Can Stress Cause Muscle Aches and Soreness?

Q: I am a 43 years old male. In November to December, I used to run four miles every day. I got a virus in January. I always had anxiety attacks. I had been type A – always in a hurry, little sleep etc. In February, my father passed away and I applied for a major job in the community. My calves are tight and tingle some. My quads have little aches. Is this a result from my anxiety?
-By: Wildcat

Reply:

Really sorry about your father’s death.

It is very understandable that your are under a lot of stress, both emotionally and physically. Anybody in such a situation would be stressed.

Does Mental Tension Cause Achy Muscles?

Yes, it is very much possible that your symptoms are due to anxiety alone. When we are anxious or stressed up, the muscles of our forehead get tightened and hurt. This is normally observed as a tension headache.

Similarly, groups of muscles elsewhere in the body may also tighten up. Probably, the muscles of your hind limb have reacted like this.

What to Do About It?

You need to relax, and that’s the only treatment. Practice any meditation technique. This would help you to take control of your mind. As you relax, your cramped muscles would also relax and the pain would subside.

Role of Anxiolytics and Relaxants

If required, you may consider taking anti-anxiety pills (benzodiazepines) for sometime. Some muscle relaxants may also be taken. These medicines do not act directly on the muscles. They act on the brain to relax the sore muscles. So they work as total body relaxants.

Since these are all prescription drugs, you need to visit a doctor.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.