You can experience muscle pain for many reasons. We discussed trigger points in an earlier blog (see to recap your memories).  A common medical problem, abnormal activity of the thyroid gland, can cause muscle pain.

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormone.  (Hyperthyroidism, which is not as common, is when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone and that can also produce muscle pain.)  When you don’t have enough thyroid hormone, many systems in your body are affected and you may notice the following signs and symptoms:

-brittle nails

-hair loss

-fatigue (feeling tired)

-dry skin

-memory problems

-having trouble thinking clearly

-weight gain

Muscle symptoms associated with hypothyroidism are often described as a cramping, stiffness or weakness.

Hypothyroidism is generally treated with hormone replacement therapy, which means you’re taking synthetic (man-made) hormones to replace the ones that the body isn’t producing.  In one study, almost 20% of patients complained of joint and/or muscle pain, of which 50% had relief in symptoms after starting thyroid replacement therapy[1].

So if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or have symptoms of hypothyroidism and also complain of muscle pain, it’s very possible that the two are related. Ask your doctor to check it out.

[1] Carette, S., Lefrancois, L. Fibrositis and primary hypothyroidism. J Rheumatol. 1988; 15(9):1418-21.


Filed under: pain management

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