Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Why Does It Hurt To Do Anything?

Friday, 16 July 2010 11:06 AM

Question: I am 60 years old, have a healthy appetite and am normally pretty active. The second week in January I came down with a condition that is totally debilitating. Three days after working two weeks on cutting down and cutting up trees left by an ice storm, all of my major muscles became so sore I could hardly move. The least amount of work or exercise just adds to the soreness.

I burn wood, so the cutting and splitting of wood was nothing new. I have been to my family doctor (general practitioner), my chiropractor, and a rheumatologist. The soreness is not in my joints. Until this condition hit me, I worked out with weights three times a week and walked 10 miles a week for 16 years. Now, the only thing that helps me get through the day is 1200 mg of ibuprofen. Any help at all will be greatly appreciated.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Your description suggests polymyalgia or muscle pain in multiple muscles. There are many forms of polymyalgia, but at your age there are some serious types that must be evaluated for and treated to keep it from progressing, which could involve multiple organs and even vision loss and stroke.

I am surprised your condition has not been better described for you. I suggest you consult your rheumatologist further or seek an alternate rheumatology opinion without delay. Normally, a lab workup would be done that included at least a CPK(creatine phosphokinase) and a sed rate. If you have tenderness over your temporal arteries on either or both sides, or have a form of polymyositis (which involves inflammation of the muscles), you will need much more aggressive management immediately. I recommend you not wait for this to clear, and seek alternate opinions immediately.

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