Muscle pain as a common symptom in daily practice frequently occurs as a non-specific accompanying symptom in multiple internal and neurological diseases. Primarily inflammatory or autoimmune muscular diseases are causing muscle pain. However, a number of non-inflammatory causes of pain can also be considered for differential diagnosis. These are presented in this article. In principle, a distinction must be made between focal and diffuse muscle pain. As an invasive diagnostic procedure, a muscle biopsy should only be performed as the last step in the diagnostic alogorithm. If diffuse muscle pain is only associated with slight muscle weakness or is completely absent, there is usually a primary rheumatic cause. Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) can lead to rhabdomyolysis, muscle fiber atrophy and muscle necrosis by damaging the muscle fiber membrane. Myotonias are autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive inherited disorders of muscle function. The genetic defect leads to pronounced muscle stiffness. The cause of metabolic myopathies can be disorders of the carbohydrate, fat or purine metabolism. Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a non-inflammatory disease and, according to the current knowledge, recognized as the result of an exposure to physical, biological and psychosocial factors (biopsychological disease model). To help diagnosing FMS, pain regions and core symptoms (fatigue, sleep disturbances) can be detected using questionnaires (Widespread Pain Index [WPI] and Symptom Severity Scale [SSS]).© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
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