Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 28, 2019
Each year, somewhere between 5 and 20 percent of the population will be stricken by the flu. Flu symptoms are never fun, and while you’re probably aware of some of the more common symptoms, like vomiting, frequent bowel movements and a fever, a number of flu sufferers also develop lower back pain. Today, we take a closer look at the link between the flu and the development of lower back pain.
Lower Back Pain When I’m Sick
There are a couple different reasons why you may experience the onset of lower back pain if you’re also dealing with the flu. The first is due to increased cytokines and chemokines in your body. These are molecules that are created by cells that are affected by the flu. Both of these molecules are pro inflammatory, meaning they encourage the onset of inflammation. Your lower back is home to numerous structures, nerves and muscles, and impingement can occur when inflammation develops in this area.
Another reason why you may be dealing with lower back pain while you’re battling the flu is because of that cough you developed. Hard coughing bouts are often channeled through the lumbar spine, and this can lead to muscle soreness or a muscle strain. Try not to be bent over or make too many hard movements while going through a coughing bout, and you can help keep your spine injury-free.
Finally, a potential complication of the flu is pneumonia. Although this is more common in older adults, one of the side effects of pneumonia is lumbar and middle back pain. If you’re experiencing symptoms of pneumonia, make sure you visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Pre-Existing Back Pain and the Flu
There’s also the increased likelihood that pre-existing back pain will get worse while you’re battling the flu. Again, this can usually be traced back to the increased cytokines and chemokines in your system. Problems like a pinched nerve, sciatica or muscle pain can all be exacerbated by localized inflammation.
As far as getting rid of your back pain, your best bet is to focus on the underlying cause, which is your flu. Drink plenty of liquids, get some rest and take your medications to help push the virus out of your system. As long as the flu lingers, so too will your back pain, so focus on getting rid of the flu and you’ll notice a decrease in back pain symptoms.
For more information about back pain as a result of sickness, or to talk to a doctor about your issues, contact Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.