There’re few things as painful as muscle fatigue and soreness. Have you ever spent the day working out at the gym and feeling great, only to feel intense pain the next day from working your muscles too hard? Your musculoskeletal system controls things like your movements, posture, and balance, so it’s no wonder when you stretch or move them beyond their limits that they would be sore.

Common Causes of Muscle Lethargy

Many things in life can cause your muscles to become tightened or overworked. Here are the 15 most common things that can cause you to experience muscle pain or fatigue.

1. Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep isn’t an optional part of your life. It would be best if you got enough shut-eye so that your body has time to rest and recover from daily activities. Your brain also uses this time to relax a bit while it sorts and files countless bits of information.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control states that at least one in every three people in the United States are sleep deprived. When you don’t get the sleep you need, your muscles don’t have time to rest. Along with brain fog and other symptoms of sleep deprivation, you may notice muscle fatigue.

Be kind to your body and get enough sleep every night. The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7-9 hours of shut-eye nightly. As you snuggle and snore away, your tired muscles can rest and rejuvenate for the next day.

2. Dehydration

Do you realize how important water is to your well-being? A study published by the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that the human body comprises about 60 percent water. Of that percentage, your kidneys and muscles comprise most of it.

Your muscles need water to maintain healthy cells and activity. If you skimp on your water intake, you will experience muscle fatigue. An article published by Nutrition Facts recommends that you drink 10-15 cups of water daily if you’re a man and 8-11 cups daily if you’re a woman.

3. A Symptom of Common Cold or Flu

It’s not difficult to notice the symptoms of a cold or flu. You’re sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and feel miserable. Another tell-tell symptom of these dreaded viruses is muscle weakness. You may feel like an elephant is sitting on your chest, and your arms and legs have turned to lead.

To help your sore muscles when you have a cold or flu, rest maybe your best option. Drink plenty of fluids and try to relax your muscles. According to a study published by Chest Journal, a steaming bowl of chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease your breathing and soothe sore muscles.

4. Vitamin D Deficiency

Your body depends on consuming enough Vitamin D to help absorb calcium. A Vitamin D insufficiency can also contribute to a calcium deficiency, also known as hypocalcemia. Not only do your bones and teeth need calcium for optimal health, but so do your muscles and other organs.

Do you feel chronic muscle fatigue and pain? Consult your primary healthcare provider for a simple blood test to show your calcium and Vitamin D levels. You can get more Vitamin D in your diet by enjoying dairy products, fatty fish, and getting a little sunlight daily.

5. Electrolyte Imbalance

If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you know about the importance of electrolytes in your body. These elements are vital for your nerves and muscles to function properly. When your electrolytes are out of balance, it can be life-threatening.

Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorus. A common symptom of electrolyte imbalance is cramps, spasms, and muscle weakness. Especially when your potassium is low, additionally, you might experience painful leg cramps, or Charley horses, at night.

Eating a balanced diet and drinking enough fluids will help you keep your electrolytes balanced. Your primary healthcare provider can also do a blood draw to check your levels. They may help you modify your diet or add supplements as needed.

6. Anemia

People who are anemic don’t have enough red blood cells that function correctly. Your blood vessels are the vehicles that transport fresh oxygen to all your body’s cells. When you have anemia, your sluggish red blood cells don’t do their job, and you feel tired and sore from the lack of oxygen.

A deficiency can cause anemia in iron, Vitamin B 12, or folate. While you usually get enough of these nutrients from your diet, you may need a supplement. Reversing your anemia may help the pain and muscle fatigue you’re experiencing.

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7. Lupus

Lupus is an auto-immune disease that affects the whole body. While auto-immune conditions aren’t clearly understood, it’s known that the immune system malfunctions. Rather than attacking foreign invaders, the body turns and starts attacking healthy tissues.

In Lupus, there is widespread tissue damage as well as chronic inflammation. The inflammatory properties of this condition can directly affect not just your muscles but also your joints.

8. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This syndrome feels exactly as it sounds. Its hallmark symptoms are chronic exhaustion and unexplained pain in your muscles and joints. According to an article published by the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 2.5 million Americans have chronic fatigue, and many more are probably undiagnosed.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a long-term, debilitating disorder that is not entirely understood. Since your body never feels refreshed, it’s common for patients to experience pain and muscle weakness. Diet, exercise, stress reduction, and healthy sleep habits may relieve some of the syndrome’s symptoms.

9. Fibromyalgia

Do you have unexplained pain and sensitivity throughout your body, especially your joints and muscles? You may have fibromyalgia, which medical experts still can’t explain. They know that the pain, itchiness, and exhaustion are real and can be exacerbated by stress or trauma.

Some individuals can manage their muscle fatigue and other symptoms with diet, exercise, stress management, and cognitive behavior therapy.

10. Arthritis

Since your muscles are attached to your bones and joints, it stands to reason that each affects the other one. Arthritis is a condition where cartilage is depleted, and the joints become stiff, inflamed, and painful. It’s not unusual for people who have arthritis to have sore muscles, too.

In addition to medication, many healthcare experts recommend an anti-inflammatory diet for arthritic patients. Exercise and stretching can also ease some of the stiffness and pain. These suggestions may also relieve the tension in your sore muscles.

11. Mononucleosis – Epstein Barr

Mononucleosis is often called the “kissing disease” because it’s so contagious. It’s caused by a virus that is notorious for causing weakness and muscle fatigue known as Epstein Barr. You may also experience a fever, swelling, or blisters in your throat.

The best way to ease mononucleosis symptoms is to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Thankfully, this only lasts about two to four weeks. As you rest and rehydrate, your muscles will feel better.

12. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a respiratory condition that can be quite serious, mostly if left untreated. Some of its symptoms include cough, fever, sweating, chills, shortness of breath, and muscle weakness. If you have pneumonia, the muscles in your chest and abdomen may be sore due to coughing.

Depending on the type of pneumonia you have, you will be treated accordingly by your healthcare provider. Resting and drinking plenty of fluids is essential to your recovery. The pain in your chest muscles will ease as the coughing and lung inflammation subside.

13. Lyme Disease

When you are wandering through the woods or even in your yard, one of your worst enemies is hard to detect. If you are bit by the tiny deer tick, it can infect you with a painful condition called Lyme Disease.

14. Strenuous Exercise

It stands to reason that after a good workout, you may experience muscle exhaustion. It’s especially true if you aren’t used to a particular activity or it’s been a while since you’ve exercised. Sometimes, you push your body past its limits, and your muscles may be sore and achy for a time.

To avoid exhausting your muscles, consider doing a stretch routine before you exercise. Also, know your body’s limits and increase the intensity of your workouts gradually. If you feel undue pain at any time while exercising, stop what you’re doing immediately and rest.

15. Hypnoplasmosis

Hypnoplasmosis is not a commonly known condition, but farmers and those who work in the landscaping field are more apt to get this infection. Birds and bat feces have spores of fungus in them that are toxic to humans, so breathing in this toxicity can cause the lungs to become inflamed as the infection takes over.

The condition can cause widespread muscle exhaustion, fever, chills, chest cough, and other symptoms. While most cases are mild, it can be life-threatening to those who have compromised breathing issues, like COPD.

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Final Thoughts on Muscle Fatigue

If you wake up with muscular pains, there can be numerous reasons. The pain can be localized to one area, or it can be throughout your entire body. Most muscle fatigue will subside on its own in a short time, but if you have a non-curable condition like Lupus, then it can be an ongoing battle to find relief.

A natural way to take care of such pains is by using hot and cold compresses and alternating between the two.