The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a variety of health issues. These issues range from mild to severe symptoms.
The virus is frequently linked to respiratory symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath, and fever.
However, there is another symptom that has received less attention but is just as significant to recognize: back pain. Dr. G.P.V Subbaiah stated in an interview that:
"I’ve seen quite a few COVID patients having low back pain severe low back pain, especially between the second and seventh day, that means in the first week of COVID-19."
This article will examine the relationship between COVID-19 and back pain. It will further explain the typical warning signs, the symptoms of COVID-19-related back pain, how long it lasts, and ways to treat it.
Does COVID Cause Back Pain?
Whether acute or chronic, back pain is not typically considered a primary symptom of COVID-19. However, emerging evidence suggests that back pain can be associated with the virus.
Understanding that back pain alone may not be a definitive sign of COVID-19 is essential.
However, it can be one of several symptoms that warrant further investigation, especially when accompanied by other typical COVID-19 symptoms.
Common COVID Symptoms Back Pain
COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has presented many symptoms that can affect various parts of the body, including the back.
While back pain is not typically considered a primary symptom of COVID-19, it can be an accompanying discomfort for many individuals.
This section will delve into the common COVID-19 symptoms that can lead to back pain.
- Fever and Chills: Back pain can be a secondary symptom accompanying a fever or chills. When COVID-19 affects the body, it can induce muscle aches, including those in the back.
- Fatigue: Many COVID-19 patients report extreme fatigue, and this can manifest as back pain. Weakness in the muscles supporting the spine can lead to discomfort.
- Cough and Breathing Difficulties: The virus primarily attacks the respiratory system, and a persistent cough and shortness of breath can strain the chest and back muscles, causing pain.
- Muscle Aches: Generalized muscle aches and soreness are common in viral infections, including COVID-19. This can extend to the back muscles, resulting in pain.
- Loss of Taste and Smell: While not directly related to back pain, the loss of taste and smell is a hallmark symptom of COVID-19. If you experience these alongside back pain, it may be a sign of the virus.
- Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Some COVID-19 patients experience digestive symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain, which can indirectly lead to back discomfort.
- Neurological Symptoms: COVID-19 can affect the nervous system, leading to headaches and body aches, including back pain.
What Does COVID Back Pain Feel Like?
COVID-19-related back pain is often described as a dull, aching sensation. It can be localized or spread across the entire back.
The pain may fluctuate in intensity and may be exacerbated by movement. It usually happens when you are coughing or taking deep breaths.
Some individuals also report a burning or stabbing sensation in their back.
How Long Does COVID Back Pain Last?
The duration of COVID-19-related back pain varies from person to person. For some, it may be short-lived, lasting only a few days or weeks.
In others, back pain can persist for several weeks or even months after the initial infection has resolved.
Monitoring your symptoms and seeking medical advice if your back pain persists or worsens is essential.
Why Does COVID Cause Back Pain?
The exact mechanisms behind COVID-19-related back pain are not yet fully understood, but several factors may contribute to this symptom:
- Muscle Inflammation: The virus can trigger an inflammatory response in the body, leading to muscle inflammation and pain, including in the back.
- Posture and Inactivity: During illness, individuals may spend more time in bed or sitting, leading to poor posture and muscle stiffness, resulting in back pain.
- Coughing and Breathing: The persistent cough and difficulty breathing associated with COVID-19 can strain the chest and back muscles, causing discomfort.
- Viral Effects on Nerves: COVID-19 can affect the nervous system, potentially leading to neuropathic pain, which can manifest as back pain.
Lower Back Pain & COVID
Does COVID Cause Lower Back Pain?
Yes, COVID-19 can cause lower back pain. Lower back pain is a common location for discomfort associated with the virus.
It often accompanies other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, and respiratory issues.
Is Lower Back Pain Normal After Having COVID-19?
Experiencing lower back pain after recovering from COVID-19 is not unusual. Some individuals may continue to experience back pain as part of their post-viral recovery process.
It's essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the cause of persistent lower back pain. They can develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Back Pain After COVID
Can Your Back Hurt After COVID-19?
Yes, your back can hurt after recovering from COVID-19.
As mentioned earlier, back pain can persist as a lingering symptom even after the virus has cleared from your system.
Addressing this discomfort and seeking medical advice is essential.
Best Ways to Relieve COVID Back Pain
Managing back pain associated with COVID-19 involves a combination of self-care and medical intervention. Here are some effective ways to alleviate COVID-19-related back pain:
- Rest and Gentle Activity: Allow your body to recover by getting adequate rest while avoiding prolonged bed rest. Engage in gentle activities like walking to prevent muscle stiffness.
- Pain Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate back pain. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication.
- Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can provide exercises and stretches to improve your posture, strengthen your back muscles, and reduce pain.
- Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area temporarily relieves back pain.
- Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help ease chest and back discomfort caused by COVID-19-related respiratory symptoms.
- Hydration and Nutrition: Staying well-hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet can support your body's healing process.
- Consult a Healthcare Provider: If your back pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment.
Back pain is not a defining symptom of COVID-19. However, it can be one of several symptoms associated with the virus. It's essential to recognize that COVID-19 can manifest in diverse ways.
Back pain should not be dismissed lightly, especially with other common COVID-19 symptoms.
Consult a healthcare professional if you experience back pain during or after a COVID-19 infection. They can do a proper evaluation and management.
Additionally, adopting healthy lifestyle practices and seeking appropriate medical care is essential. It can help you manage COVID-19-related back pain and support your overall recovery. Consult with a healthcare professional if needed.