Vancouver physician, Dr. Ali Ghahary, talks about some of the most common causes of body aches and pains, and how you can find relief.

Aches and pains are something we’ve all experienced and they can be a symptom of many different health conditions – the most common reason being influenza. The common cold or flu is usually the result of a viral or bacterial infection. As a result, your immune system works in overdrive in effort to fight off the infection, leaving you feeling fatigued, unwell, and can even cause general body aches and pains. In order to relieve these symptoms, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends, first and foremost, getting plenty of rest. Without rest, you will take longer to recover. He also recommends taking over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) for pain relief. If after more than 2 weeks your symptoms do not get better or worsen, it is recommended that you see a physician.

Dr. Ali Ghahary is available to see patients at Brentwood Medical Clinic on a walk-in basis. You can find his clinic schedule by clicking here.

It is also not uncommon to develop body aches and pains as we get older. As we age, so do our bones and joints. The most common pain-related conditions affecting Canadian geriatric patients today include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear on the bones and joints over time, while rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the joints.

Did you know that anemia could also cause body aches and pains? Anemia is a condition that occurs when the body is not getting enough red blood cells – usually from lack of iron in the diet. Females with heavy menstrual cycles can also become anemic. As a result of lack of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, many parts of your body can feel fatigued and you may develop pain. To avoid anemia and its symptoms, it is important that you ensure you’re getting enough iron, folate and vitamin B12 in your diet. You can also increase iron by taking supplements, which can be found at most pharmacies.

You might also be aware of a condition known as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is characterized by unexplained body pain, typically affecting areas such as the arms, hands, and legs. Paints with fibromyalgia often complain that they have aching bones and joints. While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown (therefore making it a complex and difficult condition to treat), there may be certain factors that contribute to a flare-up of symptoms, such as stress and anxiety, surgery, and physical trauma.

As mentioned, many body aches and pains can be relieved with OTC pain medications. You may also find it helpful to alternate between applying ice and heat on the affected areas.

For more information on some of the most common conditions that can cause body aches and pains, follow Dr. Ali Ghahary on Twitter at @DrAliGhahary, or visit Heathline’s website.