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Aching limbs - what to do?

Muskelverspannungen 24.05.22 8 min. read

Whether in the context of an acute cold, a flu-like infection or chronic illness - aching limbs are very painful. This is because almost every movement causes an unpleasant aching and pulling sensation in the body. In the following article, we would like to explain to you how and where the pain can manifest itself, which causes are possible and how you can actively counteract it yourself.

Not all pain is the same – and assigning it to the symptom limb pain is often not easy. From a medical point of view, it is limited to a pulling sensation in the arms and legs . Yet the most common causes are a cold or flu. Typical cold symptoms such as a cold, cough, headache, increased temperature or even fever are usually accompanied by unpleasant aching limbs.

This is not a reason to worry, but actually a good sign. Your body is then fighting against the infection and releases various messenger substances such as prostaglandins. Your immune system needs these for it to work. However, some prostaglandins also trigger pain stimuli in the nerve cells. This is why you often experience headaches and aching limbs when you have a cold or the flu. After you have overcome the illness, the pain in the limbs disappears by itself.

What are some of the causes of aching limbs?

In addition to a cold and a flu-like infection, limb pain is also a typical accompanying symptom in other infections, for example measles and mumps. Similarly, the body reacts with acute limb pain in early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE), an infection transmitted almost exclusively by infected ticks.

The first stage of TBE disease involves flu-like symptoms such as a general feeling of illness, headache, aching limbs and fever. Since the symptoms initially resemble those of a common summer flu, you should check your body for ticks and tick bites when the symptoms appear. If you develop a high fever, please consult a doctor. TBE is not a trivial disease. The viruses can attack the central nervous system.

Tip: The Robert Koch Institute provides a guide on the topics of ticks, infections, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and progression here.

Limb pain during PMS 

Perhaps you are one of the women who experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS)? If so, you are probably familiar with physical and psychological symptoms such as headaches, tightness in the breasts, food cravings and mood swings before your actual period. You probably also know that aching limbs are also a common symptom of PMS.

What are some of the causes of chronic limb pain?

If you permanently suffer from pain in the limbs, then a disease of the joints could be the cause. Thus, this pain shows up as an accompanying symptom in the following diseases:

  • Gout: In this metabolic disease, the joints become inflamed, often in the legs or ankles. It is triggered by small uric acid crystals that are deposited in the joints and cause inflammation there.
  • Rheumatism: The term rheumatism describes various rheumatic diseases, with rheumatoid arthritis being the most common form. This is also an inflammatory disease. Those affected often describe a kind of tearing and pulling in the affected joints.
  • Arthritis: The cause of the world's most common joint disease is usually a permanent excessive strain on one or more joints. This results in damage to the joint cartilage, which the body itself can no longer repair.

    What helps against limb pain?

    Now that we've looked at the possible causes of aching limbs, here are some tips that can help you actively manage the pain and provide yourself with relief.

    Relieving aching limbs during a cold

    When your legs, arms, and maybe even your head ache with movement or at rest, your immune system is working at full speed. Pain in the limbs during a cold or flu can be treated well with various home remedies:

    • Get enough rest and sleep, so that your immune system can regenerate while you sleep and then continue to work stronger [1].
    • Heat can help to loosen up and relax the muscles, so that the pain in the arms and legs decreases. If you do not have a fever, a cold bath is a good option.
    • An old household remedy is also calf compresses. Depending on your preference, cold or warm calf wraps around the legs or calves can relieve aching limbs.
    • Many also rely on the well-known home remedy chicken broth, especially if it contains herbs such as oregano, rosemary and thyme. Because these herbs are supposed to help with aching limbs, but there is no scientific evidence for this.

      Periodencreme The Hug

      PMS and period pain: relief from aching limbs

      Both premenstrual syndrome and menstruation are accompanied by various symptoms that can greatly affect everyday life each month. These include complaints such as pain in the abdomen as well as in the back, which can extend into the legs. Admittedly, this is not what medicine would call typical limb pain. Nevertheless, we would like to list them here for the sake of completeness. Also because in this particular case of limb pain you can strengthen your well-being with the help of the herbal period cream The Hug.

      It is especially important for your well-being and inner balance that you find a way to cope better with the monthly discomfort. Pain-relieving medications, especially when taken regularly, carry health risks [2]. On the other hand, regular rituals can help you to reduce stress and relax.

      More well-being with The Hug

      The period cream The Hug offers many valuable substances from nature such as extracts of frankincense and maritime pine bark, a hemp extract and plant terpenes, as well as ginger and St. John's wort. Thanks to the slightly blood circulation stimulating effect, The Hug slightly warms painful parts of the body. This warm embrace, in combination with a light massage, can help leave your aches and pains behind. .

      Simply incorporate the period cream into your own personal wellness ritual, which you can perform every month. Take time for yourself and begin by gently applying the cream to your abdomen or lower back and massaging it in. Direct your attention to your breath and feel a sense of well-being spreading through you as the discomfort slowly subsides.

      What helps with chronic limb pain?

      Pain in the limbs of the arms and legs - as previously mentioned - often shows up as an accompanying symptom in various conditions such as gout, rheumatism and arthritis. Depending on the type of condition, not only arms and legs, but also muscles and tendons throughout the body may ache and even show inflammation.

      If the pain in the limbs is not an expression of a medical condition, it is often due to tense muscles, stress or problems with the back. From a medical point of view, it would then probably no longer be limb pain, but rather muscle pain.

      So that you can actively improve your quality of life and prevent the development of new complaints, we have put together some tips for you below.

      • Although pain in particular tempts you to move your body as little as possible, remember: permanent rest will do you more harm than good. This does not mean that you have to run a marathon every day. Regular exercise is enough to boost your metabolism. As a result, important repair and renewal processes in the muscles are stimulated.
      • Maybe there is a gym or yoga studio near you? Strength training can help you prevent pain. Yoga or Pilates can help you stretch your body, and are especially useful for regaining a good feeling for your body.
      • Eat a balanced and healthy diet. Experts recommend an anti-inflammatory diet with plenty of fish, fruit and vegetables and as little meat, sausage and animal fats as possible. High-quality vegetable oils containing the fatty acids arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid are particularly important here.) [3].

        Wohltuende Muskelcreme mit CBD und Arnika

        Relaxation for your muscles and joints 

        Achieving a relaxed state and inner serenity is certainly not easy when you suffer from pain. That's why we would like to introduce you to a herbal relaxation aid: The Blissful Day. The muscle cream can be a benefit for your body and mind and combines various natural ingredients, such as cannabidiol (CBD), arnica, turmeric, and silver willow, which are believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects [4, 5, 6, 7].

        Scientists have found that rituals can help relieve stress and can even be a kind of mental medicine. Therefore, we would like to encourage you to create and perform your own personal ritual [8]. This can look like this:

        • Step 1: Create an atmosphere in which you feel comfortable. Allow yourself to take time for yourself and your body.
        • Step 2: If it feels good to you, try to pay attention to your breath. Feel your chest rise slightly on the inhale and fall again on the exhale. Inhale deeply through your nose, hold your breath for a moment, and then exhale through your mouth for twice as long. Repeat this breathing exercise three times.
        • Step 3: Take some of the muscle cream in your palms and feel the consistency and notice the pleasant scent. Then begin rubbing it into the painful areas, gently massaging the cream in.
        • Step 4: Perhaps close your eyes and pay attention to your breath again. Thank yourself for taking time for yourself.

          Conclusion: Listen to your body!

          If you catch a mild cold, you can usually treat it yourself. Many home remedies can help you. A flu virus often requires a medical consultation, especially if you suffer from high fever.

          If limb pain occurs outside of a cold and an infection, it is first important to find out the cause. You will probably have to see various doctors, because aching limbs can be an expression of various diseases. Once the diagnosis has been made, appropriate treatment can be initiated.

          Always remember that self-care is essential. You can become active yourself to increase your well-being. Always take good care of yourself and your body.


          Where do aches and pains in the limbs come from?

          Most often, limb pain occurs together with fever, cough, cold and headache as part of a cold or an infection (e.g. flu, mumps or measles). But diseases of the joints, for example gout, rheumatism or arthrosis, can also trigger limb pain. However, similar pain can also occur due to stress or the hormonal changes before and during menstruation. What happens in the body during limb pain?

          Both an infection and a simple cold trigger fever, aching limbs and also headaches, among other things. The body then releases special messenger substances, including prostaglandins. The immune system needs these for its work. However, some prostaglandins also trigger pain stimuli in the nerve cells at the same time, which is why the limbs and head hurt.

          How do aches and pains in the limbs become noticeable?

          Limb pain can feel pulling, stabbing or tearing. Medically, they only occur in the arms and legs. However, headache and limb pain can occur, for example, as part of a cold or when patients are suffering from an infection (e.g., flu virus). In most cases, the pain lasts only a few days and begins when the body develops a fever as well as accompanying symptoms such as a cold and a cough.

          What do you do when your whole body hurts?

          If the whole body aches, the cause should first be investigated. Headaches, aching limbs and fever can be symptoms of a cold or an infection. In such a case, heat will help and, in case of severe pain, medication. If the cause is unclear, it is advisable to consult a doctor, who can initiate treatment after an appropriate examination.

          1. Rico-Rosillo MG, Vega-Robledo GB. Sueño y sistema immune [Sleep and immune system]. Rev Alerg Mex. 2018 Apr-Jun;65(2):160-170. Spanish. doi: 10.29262/ram.v65i2.359. PMID: 29983013. More Info
          2. German Pain Society e. V., "Medicinal Pain Treatment". More Info
          3. ÄrzteZeitung, 26.02.2009, Kerstin Nees, Nutritional Medicine, "If the right thing gets on the plate, the pain subsides". More Info
          4. Britch SC, Babalonis S, Walsh SL. Cannabidiol: pharmacology and therapeutic targets. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2021;238(1):9-28. doi:10.1007/s00213-020-05712-8 More Info
          5. Pumpa KL, Fallon KE, Bensoussan A, Papalia S. The effects of topical Arnica on performance, pain and muscle damage after intense eccentric exercise. Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(3):294-300. doi:10.1080/17461391.2013.829126. Epub 2013 Aug 16. PMID: 23947690 More Info
          6. Uddin SJ, Hasan MF, Afroz M, Sarker DK, Rouf R, Islam MT, Shilpi JA, Mubarak MS. Curcumin and its Multi-target Function Against Pain and Inflammation: An Update of Pre-clinical Data. Curr Drug Targets. 2021;22(6):656-671. doi:10.2174/1389450121666200925150022. PMID: 32981501 More Info
          7. Chrubasik S, Eisenberg E, Balan E, Weinberger T, Luzzati R, Conradt C. Treatment of low back pain exacerbations with willow bark extract: a randomized double-blind study. Am J Med. 2000 Jul;109(1):9-14. doi:10.1016/s0002-9343(00)00442-3. PMID: 10936472 More Info
          8. Vohs KD, Wang Y, Gino F, Norton MI. Rituals Enhance Consumption. Psychological Science. 2013;24(9):1714-1721. doi:10.1177/0956797613478949 More Info