An ache is a dull, chronic (continuous) pain that is
usually of moderate intensity. Aches can be
pinpointed to a specific area of the body, such as
the head during a headache, the lower back during a
backache, or an ache in a bone or muscle. However,
some aches are general, such as the pain that one
may feel in the muscles during a fever. Ache also
means to suffer from a dull, continuous pain of
moderate severity. Body aches are common medical
symptom. Common areas where aches occur
besides the head include the back (especially the
lower back), shoulder, knees, and ankles. Common
causes of aches include the flu, the common cold,
sprains, and strains.
A girl with a stomache ache.
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Aches and pains are part of fibromyalgia.Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by
chronic (long-term) pain and tenderness in the muscles and bones, stiffness, fatigue,
spasms, and severe sleep difficulties.
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Aches are treated in various ways depending on
the part of the body affected. Examples of medical
treatments include pain-relieving creams for
muscle aches, over-the counter pain medications,
prescription pain medications (e.g., Tylenol or Motrin), heat therapy
or cold therapy (e.g., applying ice) for a back ache, massage,
stretching, exercising, and use of a TENS (transcutaneous electrical
nerve stimulation) unit. TENS involves electrical stimulation of
nerves for treatment purposes. Psychological treatments of aches
include relaxation (e.g., deep breathing, meditation, yoga) and
distraction. Ache comes from the Old English word, "acan" meaning
"to hurt."