General aches and pains

What are general aches and pains?

General aches is a very common condition which has a wide range of causes. Often, general aches can be completely harmless, but it is always important to seek a diagnosis and receive medical attention when necessary.

In many cases, general aches is a symptom of a condition which can be easily identified. A number of these causes can be addressed at home without needing to see a doctor. General aches can be described as pains which are either intermittent or a dull persistent ache. They can vary in frequency and intensity.

Verifying the cause of general aches can allow individuals to identify the appropriate treatment for themselves, or confirm that they should seek the help of a medical professional.

Body aches can often be accompanied by symptoms such as weakness, body temperature changes, pain and fatigue.

What causes general aches and pains?

There is a huge range of potential causes for general aches. Many of these are relatively harmless and can be treated simply, such as viral and bacterial infections. With these kinds of common infections, such as colds, the muscles can be left aching after the immune system sends white blood cells to battle the infection.

Several medications – from blood pressure medications to statins – can produce general aches as a side effect. Other common causes include stress, dehydration, fatigue and fluid retention.

Among the more serious medical conditions which can be a cause of general aches are fibromyalgia, thyroid symptoms, withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, hypokalemia, pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), arthritis, autoimmune disorders, lupus, myositis and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Treatment options for general aches and pains


This form of therapy, derived from traditional Chinese medicine, can address general aches and pains, with the ability to improve blood circulation and rectify energy imbalances within the body.


The manipulations performed by osteopaths can ease the tension in the muscles which can accompany general aches, as well as improve blood circulation.


The soft tissue techniques and joint mobilisation methods which physiotherapists use can help to alleviate general aches, allowing the body to move more freely.