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    Common causes of aches and pains

    Common Causes of aches and Pains

    Whether you’re 18 or 80, most of us have experienced aches and pains. It can be clear where some of them come from, like back pain and period pain. However, sometimes we get aches and pains that don’t seem to have an obvious source. Learning more about what causes common aches and pains can help you deal with them.


    In this guide

    Why do I get aches and pains?

    Pain is your body’s natural way of telling you that something is wrong. There could be many reasons for aches and pains.

    Strains and sprains
    We might get aches and pains in our muscles following a tough game of sport, or after completing physically demanding tasks at work or at home.

    These strains and sprains occur when muscles, joints and ligaments have been used too much, or too soon. Damage to muscles is usually accompanied by inflammation.

    Muscle strains and sprains can also be a result of poor sitting or lifting posture.

    Cold and Flu
    It can be tough having to deal with the miserable symptoms of colds or the flu, such as headache, fever and a sore throat. But your body can also feel achy and sore as a result of colds or the flu.

    Muscle pains experienced during a cold or flu can be the result of your immune system releasing chemicals into your body to help protect and fight off infection. These chemicals can affect muscle proteins, producing muscle pains.

    How do I relieve body aches and pains?

    Pain normally works as your body’s early warning system, so it’s helpful to address the source of pain where you can. This could mean changing the layout of your office desk to improve your sitting posture, or to reduce strain on your hands and wrists.

    If you already have a muscle strain or sprain:

    • Rest that part of the body.
    • Take steps to reduce swelling and inflammation in the first few days - follow the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) principle and if needed take a pain reliever, such as Nurofen.
    • After the first few days once any swelling has reduced, heat therapy can often feel more soothing.
    • Try some gentle exercise like walking or swimming.
    • Treat yourself to a massage to help soothe aching muscles.

    If you are concerned about your muscle sprains or strains, seek advice from your healthcare professional.

    When you should be concerned about aches and pains

    These steps can help aid recovery. Pain relievers such as Nurofen can help temporarily relieve aches and pains.

    If your pain persists or if you are concerned for any reason, don't ignore it - visit your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

    Important information

    This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional

    This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.


    1. Magee K, Schneider S. A.D.A.M. illustrated family health guide. 1st ed. Atlanta, GA: A.D.A.M.; 2006.

    2. MedlinePlus. Fibromyalgia. Available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000427.htm. Accessed 26 August 2014.

    3. RB Health Hub. Types of pain: what is pain? Accessed 26 August 2014.

    In this guide