Physical discomfort ranging from mild to serious, usually caused by injury, illness or a nerve condition.


Pain relievers available without a prescription, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), may help. For injury pain, self-treatment also includes the R.I.C.E. approach — rest, ice, compression and elevation.

When to seek immediate medical care

Seek medical care immediately if there is pain with:

  • Trouble breathing or dizziness.
  • Extreme muscle weakness.
  • A high fever and stiff neck.
  • Inability to move the painful area.
  • A serious injury.

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a health care professional if there is:

  • A known tick bite or a possible tick bite.
  • A rash, especially the "bull's-eye" rash of Lyme disease.
  • Muscle pain that happens with exercise and goes away with rest.
  • Signs of infection, such as persistent swelling or redness.
  • Muscle pain after a change in medicines, especially statins.
  • Muscle pain that doesn't improve with care at home.