Every year millions of Americans take to bed stricken with the flu. The flu, known as influenza, is a nasty virus that is often accompanied by a series of unpleasant symptoms including nausea, fever, sore throat, fatigue, dry cough, runny nose and… back pain.
That’s right, many flu sufferers often experience lower back pain as part of their flu symptoms. The back pain itself can run the gamut from an annoying discomfort to throbbing aches and tender skin.
Although not all flu sufferers find their symptoms include back pain, those who do will suffer back pain as long as the flu virus persists.
The good news is that as the flu virus works its way through the body, the intensity of the back pain will subside.
But Why Back Pain?
The most common question people want to know is why the flu causes pain the back when back pain is not a commonly accepted symptom of influenza.
It’s no secret that aches and pains are common with the flu; it’s why we feel drained and achy constantly. But prolonged and severe back pain just isn’t considered “typical.”
However… it is exactly those same aches and pains associated with the flu that do cause such excruciating back pain for some.
When you have the flu, you have elevated levels of molecules known as cytokines and chemokines, which are created by cells affected by flu.
Both cytokines and chemokines are pro-inflammatory… which simply means they encourage inflammation. When the levels of both of these molecules are elevated higher than usual for influenza, severe back pain is often the result!
And If You Had Pre-Existing Back Pain…
While there are plenty of people who experience back pain during bouts of flu, there is another reason that back pain and flu are often linked; you have a history of back pain.
If you have recently injured your back or suffer from chronic back pain, this pain will often resurface as part of flu symptoms. Again, those aches and pains commonly found in flu sufferers will bring out the back pain again (or make your back pain worse.)
Sometimes, however, the link between back pain and flu is simply happenstance. The flu is a very common virus and many people suffer from the flu every single year. With high numbers in both populations it is quite likely that they will overlap on occasion (meaning one is not causing the other, you just unfortunately happen to have both at the same time.)
How to Get RELIEF
Many people turn to over-the-counter medications to find relief from the flu.
First of all, and for various reasons, these are not necessarily your best line of offense or defense against the flu (instead, don’t miss The 11 Best Natural Remedies for Colds and Flu.)
And UNFORTUNATELY the pain killers found in the flu medications will do scant little to help relieve your bad back pain.
What can help you find fast and deep relief from the back pain are:
And one more solution that can help ease the pain — and (greatly) help to prevent pain, because of how well it fights the underlying inflammation that causes the pain — are “proteolytic enzymes,” which I encourage you to learn about here.
Written By: June 23,2011