COVID-19 is a disease with plenty of weird symptoms. While it’s mostly respiratory, the virus also has an impact on peoples’ motivation, producing a slew of weird symptoms like rashes, COVID tongue, and COVID toes.
Another strange symptom that’s also being reported is back pain.
Intense bouts of back pain are being reported by people who’ve had COVID-19, whether they’re experienced in the moment or as a symptom of long COVID-19. And while back pain doesn’t appear as one of the symptoms listed in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), muscle and body aches are listed, which are part of the same group.
Muscle and body aches are common for viral illnesses. For example, the flu is also known for causing aches throughout the body. This is due to your immune system battling off the infection, making it work overtime in order to get rid of the foreign agent. In these situations, your body produces interleukins, which cause the symptoms associated with viral infections.
When talking about COVID-19 and back pain, COVID-19 is known for producing a strong inflammatory response, one that can last for months and be the reason why people are still experiencing symptoms long after their COVID-19 infection has passed. In a 2020 review, back pain was one of the most reported symptoms of the disease, affecting around 10 percent of patients. While it’s not wholly understood why the back is a target for COVID-19, experts know it’s tied to the body’s inflammatory response.
While back pain is often reported with COVID-19, the fact that it’s there doesn’t mean that you have COVID-19. Back pain can be caused by a variety of things, whether that’s stress, poor posture, a pulled muscle, or more. Many viral infections cause muscle pains, so it’s important to account for your other symptoms in order to determine what is the cause of your condition.