Excessive Muscle Soreness

What Causes Sore Muscles?

Sore muscles can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose sore muscles, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "sore muscles" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Fluorosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Vitamin A Toxicity
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Muscle Pains
  • Gastroenteritis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
major fatigue for 3-12 months
recent onset nausea
very tender muscles
heaviness of the legs
recurring depression
frequent episodes of diarrhea
having watery stools
Lyme disease
low lymphocyte count
edema of the hands
reduced mental clarity
... and more than 70 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of sore muscles:
Cause Probability Status
Muscle Pains 96% Confirm
Vitamin A Toxicity 28% Unlikely
Epstein-Barr Virus 13% Unlikely
Lyme Disease 0% Ruled out
Pulmonary Fibrosis 0% Ruled out
Guillain-Barre Syndrome 0% Ruled out
Gastroenteritis 0% Ruled out
Fluorosis 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having muscle problems / disease, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you feel that your muscles are sorer after heavy use than they should be? (Some muscle soreness is normal a day or two after activity to which that muscle is not accustomed.)
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No, they recover quickly / don't get very sore
→ Yes, probably slightly sorer than they should be
→ Yes, excessive soreness on occasion
→ Yes, they are always excessively sore after use
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no unusual muscle soreness, slightly excessive muscle soreness or excessive muscle soreness, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Muscle Pains (Myalgia)

Muscle Pains (Myalgia) also suggests the following possibilities:

Allergy to Foods (Hidden)

Muscle pain can be due to food allergies.  Such pains will disappear after elimination of the offending foods from the diet.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Gradually muscle pain is experienced in the large muscles, such as the thighs, back and shoulders.  Pain in the lower back, buttocks or thighs is common, and is often the earliest symptom.  Deep, aching muscle pain is common.


Flu-like illness and muscle aches are generally present in cases of malaria.

Vitamin C Requirement

To test the effects of vitamin C in preventing muscle soreness, researchers at Western States Chiropractic College gave 3gm of vitamin C to students beginning 3 days before exposing them to the stress of exercise.  The vitamin C group developed significantly less muscle soreness than did the control group. [Pain 1992;50: pp.317-21]

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