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


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.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Can Stress and Anxiety Cause Muscle Pain?

  1. eddy

    Since I was a child I’ve always been scared of cancer. As I grew older I convinced myself I had HIV even though I’ve never had a sexual experience in my life until that point. As I got older any little thing on my body would have me rushing to my doctor. If I got a bruise I would go to the doctor. At one point I even became obsessed with my urine color and smell. I would stress myself out to the point that I thought I would have a deadly disease. I once went to 4 doctors and got the same answer. I have a family member that is very sick (cancer) and he is most likely going to pass away. Since all of this has happened I been health conscious. I start reading about symptoms I don’t have, but when I wake up the next morning I have those symptoms. I’m 34 and I got a mild case of shingles and I freaked out and I thought I had cancer, HIV, you name it I had it. I took a test for HIV and I was negative and it calmed my fears for a while. Then one day I was reading up on shingles and it said some people can get it again. Next morning I woke up thinking they came back. I had all the symptoms of pain and tingling. Days went by and a rash didn’t developed so eventually I forgot about it and the pain went away. Now I’ve had a sore throat for over a month. I’ve taken 3 courses of antibiotics and it still won’t go away. I don’t have a fever, cough, etc. My only symptoms is pain in my throat and phlegm. Someone mention to me that all my symptoms may be psychosomatic. I sometimes don’t take showers for a long period of time because I’m scared I’ll find something on my body that will send me into a frenzy. Lately I’m even scared to urinate because I get worried about my urine. I don’t drink any liquids because so I wont pee so when I do you can imagine is concentrated and the smell of it sends me into a frenzy. Could pains be all in my head. Is it possible for someone to develop aches? I once had a friend who got diagnosed with diabetes and his only symptom was burning feet. Next day I got that symptom. I had it for a while until I forgot about it. So I’m worried that my sore throat for over a month (6 weeks) can be all in my head. Is this possible?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Yes, it is possible. This could be a psychosomatic situation.

      You actually develop symptoms you are thinking about.

      Relax, and your symptoms disappear.


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