Body Aches and COVID-19: What You Need to Know
A common symptom of COVID-19 is body aches.
Body aches can occur in various parts of the body but are often in the head and neck region or the limbs.
Over-the-counter pain medications can be used at home to treat body aches caused by COVID-19.
Body aches have been known to persist beyond the time of infection, a situation known as long COVID.
During the fall and winter seasons, infectious diseases begin to emerge such as strep throat, influenza, rhinovirus, adenovirus, the common cold and, this year, COVID-19. Viral infections like the flu can cause muscle soreness called myalgias, often referred to as “body aches.” Myalgias are a result of the body working to heal itself. Other causes of myalgias include vitamin and mineral deficiencies such as vitamin D and potassium.
Body aches and COVID frequently go together. Not only is it a common symptom of the COVID infection, but research has shown body aches appearing in the early days of infection, even before the common respiratory symptoms related to the disease, such as cough, sore throat, and runny nose.
You can experience COVID body aches almost anywhere, but they’re most common in the head, neck area, and limbs. They can also include your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, also known as muscle pain or myalgia. Body aches can go away on their own, but they can linger, and they’re often cited as one of the most frequent symptoms to persist after a COVID-19 infection, known as long COVID.
Also see: Flu Symptoms vs COVID-19 Symptoms
What causes body aches with COVID?
Body aches are a frequent symptom of COVID, and are often felt with other symptoms such as fatigue, cough, and headaches. This pain can go together with a fever, but the whole body can also ache without it. You can experience these body aches throughout the whole body in general, or they can occur in specific places. They mainly affect the head, the neck, and the limbs. Further research is needed to understand the association between COVID-19 and these locations.
COVID body aches feel like a dull, aching sensation in your muscles. You can feel as if your mobility is limited due to the pain. The pain can range from mild to severe and can occur if you already had body aches before the infection or if you didn’t.
Body aches can also occur as a side effect after the COVID vaccination. The severity of this side effect can vary from person to person and should go away in a few days. You can experience body aches as a side effect after primary or booster shots.
How long do body aches last with COVID?
The body aches associated with the coronavirus are usually an early symptom of infection. In many cases, they’ll go away on their own after a few days or weeks.
However, there's a considerable amount of people who experience body aches after COVID-19. If this is the case, you might have long COVID, a situation where the symptoms of a COVID infection persist after the infection has cleared. Some research suggests that body aches last about 45 days on average. Studies indicate that the reason behind this is an inflammation of the nervous system caused by the immune system as a reaction to the coronavirus. In some cases, this can cause chronic pain, which may affect your quality of life. Pain control and monitoring are essential because these muscle aches often last long.
What else can cause body aches?
Body aches are a general symptom and can be caused by many other things apart from COVID. Some other causes of body aches include:
- Infection with a virus such as the common cold, the flu, and the coronavirus
- Working out
To be sure of the cause of your body aches, it’s crucial to keep any other symptoms that you may be experiencing in mind. If you’re in doubt, a COVID test can help determine whether or not you’ve been infected with the coronavirus.
Also see: How to Protect Yourself From COVID-19
What helps with body aches from COVID?
COVID body aches usually go away on their own without any extra treatment. Drinking plenty of fluids and resting while your immune system fights the infection is usually the best option. If you want to relieve your pain, ibuprofen or paracetamol may be an option.
Hot and cold therapy can also be used to alleviate COVID-19 body aches. A hot bath or shower can help to relax sore muscles and reduce pain, while an ice pack can be applied to the affected area to reduce inflammation.
Remember this blog provides general information and should not replace professional medical advice. If the pain persists after the infection, consult your doctor for monitoring and treatment, as you may be experiencing symptoms of long COVID. Please visit or call the Nearest Emergency Room for a immediate medical help.
We have ER locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area that are open and here to help you 24/7 If you or your family have a medical emergency.
We have 9 facilities spread across the DFW area with average wait times of less than 10 mins that are OPEN 24/7 located in Hurst, Colleyville, Frisco, Highland Village, Hillcrest, Uptown, Little Elm, Mansfield, and Texoma.