14 Most Common Aches and Pains

Myalgia, or muscle ache, is an extremely common problem, and almost everyone experiences muscular discomfort at some point of time. Since muscle tissue is present in almost all parts of the body, this kind of pain can be felt practically anywhere. Read on to know which are the most common aches and pains.

14 Most Common Types of Aches and Pains

The most common aches and pains felt in the body are.

14 Most Common Aches and Pains

  1. Sprains and Strains. People, who engage in physical activities or play sports, are familiar with sprains and strains. Sprains and strains are the most common aches and pain felt by anyone. While a sprain is characterised by a stretched or torn ligament; a stretched or torn muscle or tendon is termed as strain. Both sprain and strain cause swelling and inflammation. Sprains can result in bruising, while strains can trigger muscle spasms. OTC pain relievers and RICE method, i.e. rest, ice, compression, and elevation, can be used as early treatment for sprains and strains. However, a doctor should be consulted when experiencing numbness or tingling in the affected area, inability to move a joint, or if the problem does improve within a week.
  2. Migraine. Throbbing pain in the side or front of the head can put the sufferer’s daily activities on hold. Migraine is another common ache and pain felt by a person. Migraine can make a person feel sick to their stomach, be sensitive to light, and has other symptoms too. People suffering from migraine should find a dark and quiet place to rest, and apply an ice pack on the affected area for numbing the pain. A heating pad can also be used to relax the tense muscles when suffering from migraine. While an OTC pain reliever can be taken to relieve the migraine in its early stages, prescription medication may be required to treat or prevent aggravated migraine problem.
  3. Tension Headache. This common type of headache generally feels like the head being squeezed with a band. Having OTC painkillers, drinking water and resting often helps to relieve this common pain. Normally, a headache fades away within hours, but at times, it can be present for a couple of days too. To avoid this type of tension headache, one should get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and get regular massages. People suffering tension headache should avoid having caffeine and getting stressed.
  4. Toothache. Toothache is yet another common ache and pain experienced by the human kind. Cracked teeth, broken fillings, tooth decay and gum disease can all lead to toothache. If toothache lasts for more than a couple of days, the sufferer should visit a dentist and get it treated in time. If left untreated for long, the inflamed area could become infected, and lead to bigger problems. Tooth pain can also occur due to sinus infection, teeth grinding at night, and a problem with the joint at the point where the jaw meets the skull (TMJ).

  5. Neck Pain. Pain in the neck is another common ache and pain felt by a person. Compared to the rest of the spine, the neck is the least protected, and is thus extremely vulnerable to sprains and strains. Usually, these neck aches and pains are temporary, and often do not need any medical treatment. Regular wear and tear, like breaking down of the discs can hurt too. These neck pains can be prevented by maintaining a good body posture.
  6. Back Pain. Back pain commonly occurs with age. This common ache and pain can be dull or sharp and may last months at a time. Some of the common causes for back pain are lifting heavy weights in the wrong way, excess body weight, genetics and health conditions like arthritis and cancer. Treatments for most forms of back pain include hot and cold packs, OTC medications, yoga, exercise and massage.
  7. Frozen Shoulder. The frozen shoulder pain is another common ache and pain which usually worsens at night, when lying on the affected side. In frozen shoulder, the shoulder stiffens to an extent that moving it and doing simple everyday tasks can become a difficult affair. Regular exercise and physical therapy can prove helpful in improving the range of motion when suffering from frozen shoulder. Women, people aged between 40 to 60 years, and diabetics are more likely to develop this problem of frozen shoulder.
  8. Tendinitis and Bursitis. Tendinitis and bursitis are characterized by swelling around a muscle or bone, usually due to the overuse or injury of a joint, like the ankle, knee, hip, elbow, wrist or shoulder. These common ache problems can be treated with RICE, too. However, a doctor should be called if the pain and swelling worsen, or if any redness or warmth are noticed around the affected joint.

  9. Arthritis. Arthritis is among the leading causes of disability in the world. This common cause of ache and pains occurs as a result of wear and tear of the joints, or inflammation triggered by the immune system. Common symptoms of arthritis, which can come and go, are pain, swelling and stiffness in the joint and limited range of motion. Usually, arthritis cannot be cured, but the pain can often be eased, and the condition can be managed with the doctor’s help.
  10. Nerve Pain. Numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness are all signs of a nerve problem. People with uncontrolled diabetes tend to experience nerve damage in their hands, arms, feet, arms and legs. Shingles is a painful rash, which is caused by the chickenpox virus. Shingles can also lead to ongoing nerve pain. When the organs get affected, the sufferer can have trouble with their digestion or urination too. Physical therapy, medications, and eating well can all help to ease this common pain.
  11. Stomach Ache. Stomach ache can be caused due to many reasons, like gas, indigestion and constipation. OTC medicines can help to relieve tummy ache or make an upset stomach feel better. However, a doctor should be called if the pain is severe and sudden, lasts for days, or if the sufferer vomits blood, has bloody stool, or notices any other unusual symptoms.
  12. Sciatica. Sciatica is a shooting pain, which can make either standing or sitting uncomfortable. Weakness, numbness, and burning or tingling in the leg may be felt in Sciatica, which is nothing like a cramp. Sciatica pain occurs because of a pinched nerve in the lower back. Coughing and sneezing can sharpen the sciatica pain. Although, sciatica normally goes away in a few weeks with gentle exercise and rest, the patient should; however, consult a doctor. Sciatica mostly affects people aged between 30 to 50 years.
  13. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Keyboard overuse is believed to be responsible for causing one of the leading nerve disorders, called carpal tunnel syndrome. If the problem of pinched nerve is already present, pecking at the computer can worsen the tingling and numbness in the fingers. In such a case, sufferers are advised to first rest and avoid bending or twisting their wrist for a couple of weeks. Then they should try yoga or physical therapy, and use certain medicines for reducing swelling and easing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  14. Sore and Swollen Feet. Sore and swollen feet can also cause pain, discomfort, and problems in walking. Women and people with high arches or flat feet are at increased risk for plantar fasciitis, which can make the bottom of the heel hurt. To ease the condition, the sufferer is advised to rest and keep their feet elevated. Ice pack should be applied on the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, every day. The patient must stand on a hard surface, wear shoes with good support, use compression stockings, and take breaks off their feet when they can. Stretching is also a good way of relaxing and easing the feet from this common ache and pain. But if the pain is bad or the cause for the pain is not clear, the patient must contact a doctor without delay.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 13, 2019

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