It may not occur to a lot of people but muscle pain is one of the early symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. Your thyroid treatment may not be optimal if your muscle aches all over without aggression from rigorous exercises.
Muscle pain can be caused by both hypo and hyperthyroidism, known as hypothyroid myopathy and hyperthyroid myopathy.
Muscle Pain Due To Thyroid Problems
1. Joint and Muscle Pain
Most of the muscle and joint pain you experience due to hypothyroidism is because of fluid retention which leads to swollen muscles pressing on your nerves. Hypothyroidism slows your metabolism and allows a fluid build up in your joints that lead to swelling and pain. Muscle and joint stiffness can also be caused by fluid retention. Although for hyperthyroidism, muscle pain is not as common.
2. Fatigue and Joint Pain
Instead of aiding in the treatment of your hypothyroidism, your medication can also add to its growing symptoms. Taking medicine that only gives you T4 may cause a buildup of T4 and shortage of T3 if your body can’t efficiently convert the T4 into T3. This T3 deficiency in your tissues can cause fatigue and joint pain which can also lead to constipation and muscle aches.
3. Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles tendonitis is the inflammation of your Achilles tendon and causes pain and stiffness in the back of your heel. Your Achilles tendon are the fibrous tissues connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone and it’s the largest and strongest tendon in the body. A simple treatment of rest, ice, and stretching can speed your healing but hypothyroidism can contribute to your Achilles tendonitis by diminishing your Achilles reflex.
4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Hypothyroid myopathy can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and, the lesser known, tarsal tunnel syndrome. CTS is a pain, achiness, or numbness due to the swollen membranes compressing your nerve. Areas of CTS you should look out for is in your:
Reports have shown that this repetitive strain injury clears after treatment for hypothyroidism.
5. Disabling Pain
Hyperthyroid myopathy doesn’t lead to muscle pain but to a decrease in muscle tone and strength. This process is called ‘muscle wasting’ and it leads to worse conditions such as the inability to climb stairs, hold or grip items, raising your arms above your head, and difficulty in swallowing.
Watch this video from Dr. Adam Hughes to find out more about the connection between your thyroid condition and your joint pain!
Thankfully, these symptoms are typically resolved when the thyroid medication dose is optimized. Pain is not something you want to live with and experience every day so it’s important to speak with your doctor about this symptom and optimizing your thyroid treatment. If your optimized treatment doesn’t work and you continue to experience pain, it’s time to talk to your physician about potential underlying causes such as vitamin or mineral deficiencies to your fibromyalgia.
Have you experienced any of these muscle pains? Share your experience in the comments below!
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