Muscles ache when people are sick as a part of the natural reaction of the body to the illness. As a matter of fact, muscle ache is largely a side effect of your body’s defense mechanism, if nothing else is wrong. The precise mechanism of the aching of the muscles during sickness is far more complex than that simple reason though.
During sickness, the aching sensation in muscles is felt because of the nerve contraction caused by lactic acid production by the muscles, triggered by histamine from the antibodies and blood vessel dilation.
Histamines are chemicals are produced by antibodies, which are agents produced in a great number during an illness as a part of the natural healing mechanism of the body. Histamines end up in the muscles and end up dilating the blood vessels. The dilation of the blood vessels in the muscles and their frequent contraction and fluctuation catalyzes the muscles to produce lactic acid. Lactic acid stimulates the pain receptors in the nerve, which are responsible for the aching sensation.
This is not necessarily the reason of muscle aches during sickness, as there could be a number of other factors involved. Sometimes, trauma and other more serious illnesses can be a cause of such aches as well, so a distinction should be made if the ache is due to sickness or not.
Sometimes muscle ache is merely a symptom of certain illnesses, such as flu, malaria and dengue. At other instances, muscle ache could be a side effect of certain drugs such as cocaine and ACE inhibitors. So the symptoms of the muscle ache should be carefully observed and a physician should be consulted for the diagnosis.
Aches during sickness are also a sign that your body needs rest for healing. As a matter of fact, due to aches, the person’s physical reaction makes them rest, so that the body would carry on its healing functions until full health is attained.