Each year, almost 3-11% of the population suffers from cold and flu. People complain of experiencing common symptoms like frequent bowel movements, fever, and vomiting.

However, many people even suffer back pain during the flu, which is the worst of all the symptoms. Continue reading to learn about how back pain is related to the flu and some remedies to help you.

Can the Flu Cause Lower Back Pain?

Yes, it indeed does. It’s not a secret that aches and pains strike in cold flu. But the long-term and severe back pain due to flu is not typical and hard to suffer.

These excruciating back pains are the worst thing to experience with the flu.

A physical rehabilitation doctor named Dr. John E. Sarno once said:” Chronic pain can sometimes be the result of emotional tension.”

Flu-Like Symptoms and Back Pain

Body aches are one of the common symptoms of the flu. You feel soreness and achiness in your muscles when you try to move. You feel weak, tired, and exhausted from body aches due to the flu.

Your back is the home of numerous structures, nerves, and muscles. Inflammation due to flu or brutal coughing bouts can impair various spinal structures. These presses can cause severe pain in your back.

Why Your Lower Back Pain Hurts with the Flu or Common Cold?

When you have the  flu, there is an elevation in your cytokines and chemokines levels. The cells affected by the flu create these. They both cause severe lower back pain as both of them are pro-inflammatory.

This means that they encourage the triggering of inflammation. Elevation of both these molecules typically causes severe back pain.

back pain flu inflammation

Cough can also be the reason for your body ache and back pain. Brutal coughing bouts can cause soreness or muscle strain. Additionally, severe complications of the flu can cause pneumonia. It can also cause pain in the middle back, most commonly in adults.

Can the Stomach Flu Cause Lower Back Pain?

Back pain varies with severity and type of flu, from sharp and stabbing to dull and painful. It can also cause vomiting when your mouth forcefully ejects the content from your stomach.

Sometimes, the pain in the stomach can radiate to the back and cause pain and tension in the back.

A person with gastroenteritis who is already suffering from intense stomach ache can also experience back pain at the same time. The condition may cause the person to vomit so hard that the back and stomach muscles become sore.

Can COVID Trigger Lower Back Pain?

There are many symptoms of COVID-19, including fever and fatigue, but an unexpected symptom is back pain.

Back pain is one of the critical symptoms of Omicron. Along with sore throat, nasal congestion, and cough, almost 24.4% of the infected patients complain of muscle pain and significantly lower back pain.

7 Best Remedies to Relieve Lower Back Pain from Common Colds or Flu

The flu and the aches it causes are the worst combinations you can ever experience. It usually lasts a few days. Here’s what you can do to make yourself better:

1.) Take Pain Killers 

Painkillers can help you to relieve your body aches from the flu. NSAIDs are more suitable for your ache than any other painkillers. Ask your doctor if you have any other health condition before taking it to avoid inconvenience.

Dr. Michael Albert says to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent severe illness from the virus. This will ultimately calm down the back pain associated with the flu.

2.) Take Plenty of Rest 

Getting enough sleep in an appropriate posture is extremely important. Sleep plays a massive role in the regulation of immune functions. These functions are needed for healing and reducing inflammation in the body.

Lower back pain makes it harder to get comfortable in bed, but try to relax and rest so your body can build immunity against the infection.

3.) Take a Warm Bath 

A nice warm bath can loosen up your tight muscles. This remedy is beneficial and relieves much of your lower back pain. If you are suffering from a fever, keep the water lukewarm to prevent the rise in your body temperature.

4.) Take Some Heat 

Heating pads and blankets can also relieve some of your body aches from flu and cold. Be careful not to use excessive heat to prevent burns or skin rash. Try to set a timer if there is a chance that you fall asleep with a heating pad.

heating pad for back pain

 

5.) Try a Massage 

Massage therapy can reduce your back pain from flu and cold. It can be indirectly helpful in recovering faster than usual as it lowers the cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that weakens your immunity due to infection.

6.) Keep Yourself Hydrated

Drink lots of water and other fluids, especially when you have stomach flu. We have studied previously how stomach flu can cause severe back pain. Fluids won’t directly relieve your back pain from the flu, but they will help you to heal early stomach flu.

Water helps to keep your mouth, nose, and throat moist. This moist will help you to get rid of built-up phlegm and mucus. This will help get rid of the flu faster.

7.) Use a Humidifier

Making your home environment pleasant can help you a lot in healing from all the pains of flu and cold. The air in your home might not specifically cause back or body aches, but it can affect your body’s healing by making you uncomfortable.

humidifier flu cold

Maintaining a relative humidity between 40-60% in your home can reduce the virus’s spread and relieve cough and nasal congestion. This will also indirectly reduce your back aches by healing early.

Conclusion

Backaches are one of the symptoms of flu and cold, but it’s a great sign that your body is fighting off the virus. Do your best by hydrating yourself, taking plenty of rest and pain relievers, and using a humidifier to make a comfortable environment. This will heal you early, relieving all your back and body aches.

Backaches are one of the symptoms of flu and cold, but it’s a great sign that your body is fighting off the virus. Do your best by hydrating yourself, taking plenty of rest and pain relievers, and using a humidifier to make a comfortable environment. This will heal you early, relieving all your back and body aches.