Muscle pain is typically not considered an indication that thyroid levels are out of balance. Although muscle pain can be due to a variety of causes, thyroid levels should be considered, along with other symptoms, to decide if the thyroid gland is involved. By understanding this relationship and other symptoms related to thyroid disorders, you will be better prepared to discuss your condition with your physician.
The thyroid gland is typically unnoticed when functioning properly. It is located at the front side of the neck near the Adam's apple. The role of the thyroid gland is to keep the human body in a state of balance, ensuring that it receives the proper level of the thyroid hormones that play an important role in metabolism, heart health, circulation, cholesterol and even psychological health. When the thyroid gland is not working properly a wide variety of symptoms appear, including muscle pain and spasms.
Myopathy is a term used to describe a muscle that is producing symptoms of pain, cramps, tenderness, weakness and spasms. According to a 2007 study by Wayne E. Anderson, DO, California Pacific Medical Center, malfunctions in the endocrine system often produce muscle pain. The thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system and when it does not produce enough thyroid hormones, you can suffer metabolism and circulation problems, which contribute to muscle weakness. Additionally, an excessive amount of thyroid hormones can cause similar muscle weakness and pain.
Hypothyroidism is the term used when the thyroid gland is working below normal and not producing adequate thyroid hormones to keep the body healthy. Muscle pain and spasms are included in symptoms of hypothyroidism. Unexplained weight gain, constipation, depression, fatigue and menstrual cycle changes are also symptoms of hypothyroidism.
When the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system the condition is called Hashimoto's disease, and often leads to hypothyroidism if untreated. This slowly progressive disease displays many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism as well as pain and tenderness in the shoulders and hips. Muscle spasms and pain and swelling and stiffness in the joints are also common symptoms.
There are other possible causes for muscle pain that may not be related to the thyroid. Calcium and magnesium play an important role in muscle nerve transmission and low levels in the blood can bring on muscle pain. Infections such as malaria, polio, lupus and Lyme disease also cause muscle pain. Some drugs such as statins and ACE inhibitors cause muscle pain as a side effect.