Is lower back pain a symptom of the flu? Is there a link between back pain and the flu?
These are common questions we get, especially during the winter, here at the Healthy Back Institute.
Every year millions of Americans take to bed stricken with a cold or the flu.
Also known as influenza, the flu 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 and joint pain as part of their flu symptoms.
The back pain itself can run the gamut from an annoying discomfort to extreme, throbbing body 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.
Why lower back pain when sick with the flu?
The most common question people ask is why does the flu cause 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.
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 fast, safe and soothing 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.
Antibiotics are not always effective and common over-the-counter medications can sometimes only have modest effectiveness.
And unfortunately, the painkillers found in the flu medications will do scant little to help relieve your bad back pain.
However, there are natural alternatives that are sometimes safer and more cost-effective.
You can read more about our 11 best natural remedies for colds and flu right here.
What can also help you find fast and deep relief from the back pain are:
You can learn more about effective natural treatments in my book, The End of All Disease, which you can download for free right here.