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What Causes Muscle Pain

What Causes Muscle Pain



What Causes Muscle Pain

What Causes Muscle Pain

With the festive season done and dusted, Rafiki’s New Year’s resolution involves getting fit. Again. Money’s tight, so he’s not going back to the gym. Instead, he’s going to start walking and hiking. These are exercise activities he can do alone or, best of all, with the family, and so, on the first Sunday of the year, they headed off to the Karura Forest.1

What began as a happy family outing, ended in tears – for Timon. About two hours into the hike, the little boy turned excitedly to point something out to mum.


He didn’t see a big tree root, and stepped on it “funny”. A badly twisted ankle is not funny. Try as he might, Timon couldn’t walk on his sore foot. That was the end of the hike, and Rafiki had no choice but to put Timon on his back as the family trekked out of the forest to go back home.

At home, Eshe had to deal with both Timon’s sore ankle and a husband with a splitting headache, muscle pain in his legs and buttocks. According to Rafiki, his whole body ached!

She sighed and headed for the medicine cabinet and the Cipladon effervescent tablets.

Remember: always make sure that you give your kids (and partner) the correct dosage of paracetamol.


What are muscle aches?

Muscle aches or pain is discomfort or soreness in the muscles. We have all experienced muscle pain at one time or another, whether you’ve sprained your ankle like Timon, or overworked your body like Rafiki did, carrying his son out of the forest. Of course, these are not the only causes of muscle aches.


What are the most common causes of muscle aches?

Tension and stress probably had something to do with Rafiki’s headache, in addition to having pushed his body too far – probably not helped by poor fitness levels. Other physical causes of muscle pain are injury – like Timon’s ankle and wrist sprains – as well as not warming up or cooling down after exercise.2


Other common causes for pain in muscles?

Other common causes for muscle aches and pains can be divided into two broad categories: common illnesses or infections and/or insect or spider bites.

Common sicknesses that cause muscles to ache

Almost everyone has experienced the aching body and head that comes with a dose of flu – usually also with a fever.

If we spend time outdoors, there is the possibility of being bitten by some or other insect or spider. Although it doesn’t often, a spider bite can result in muscle pain.3 Also, in wilderness areas like Karura Forest, there is the risk of a tick bite and the potential for tick bite fever. Of course, people who live in high-risk malaria areas like Kenya and Uganda, are always at risk from mosquito bites. Both malaria and tick bite fever is associated with fever and muscle pain among their symptoms.4,5

Both the muscle pain and the fever associated with flu and insect bites can be relieved by taking paracetamol like Cipladon.

Remember: If you have other symptoms and suspect that you might have malaria or tick bite fever, you should consult your health practitioner to get the appropriate treatment.


When to see the doctor about muscle aches

We have already noted that if you have had an insect bite and have muscle pain and fever, you should see the doctor. Other reasons to see a doctor when you have muscle pain or myalgia, are:6

  • If the pain is not better after taking a painkiller, like paracetamol
  • If you don’t know why you have muscle pain and/or you have a rash
  • If there your muscles ache and there is some redness or swelling
  • If you have pain together with a fever


Home treatments for muscle pain

Pain from strained and sprained muscles like Rafiki and Timon’s can often be treated at home. The most obvious is easy to remember:

  • R – rest and avoid strenuous or high-impact exercise until the pain has gone
  • I – ice – use an ice pack on the sore muscle
  • C – compress – if you can firmly bandage or apply pressure to the sore muscle
  • E – elevate – raise the part of your body – like the leg or foot – where the muscle is aching

You can also gently stretch your aching muscles by doing yoga which, with meditation, can help to relieve tension.7

Of course, you can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Cipladon.

Cipladon 1000 mg and 500mg

Cipladon comes in two different sizes: Cipladon 500 is a sweetened flavored tablet dissolved in water making a pleasant-tasting fizzy drink and can be taken by children between 6 and 12 years old.

Remember: Before giving your child medicine, ensure that you will give them the correct dose. Please read our useful guide on how much paracetamol to give your child, and how often.

Cipladon also comes in 1000mg tablets that dissolve in water to make a clear, fizzy drink with a slightly sour taste.

Both Cipladon 500 and 1000 dissolve in water to make a fizzy drink which is easy to give, tastes great and relieves pain and fever f-f-faster!

The fizz works!


Disclaimer: The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.


  1. Dattani, M. 2022 Trekking in Kenya: 9 of the best hiking routes. Lonely Planet [Online] Available from <> 11/01/2023
  2. O’Connell, K., Biggers, A. 2019 What You Need to Know About Muscle Aches and Pains Healthline, Healthline Media [Online] Available from <> 11/01/2023
  3. Muller, G.J. et al. (no date) Spider bite in Southern Africa: Diagnosis and management, Continuing Medical Education. South African Medical Association. [Online] Available from: <> 11/01/2023).
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. African tick bite fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Online] Available from <> 11/01/2023
  5.  Malaria symptoms and treatments (no date) symptoms & treatments – Illnesses & conditions | NHS inform. [Online] Available from < > 11/01/2023
  6. O’Connell, K., Biggers, A. 2019 When to see a doctor about muscle aches Healthline, Healthline Media [Online] Available from <> 11/01/2023
  7. Muscle aches: Causes, home remedies, and prevention. Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. [Online] Available from <> 11/01/2023

Please note the content on this website is not intended to be a substitute to a medical professional consultation.