Back Pain Emerges as Post-Covid Symptom. Expert Explains Why it Happens

Jennifer E. Engen

Cold, fever, cough, and fatigue these days are considered the main symptoms of coronavirus. But in recent times, with the outbreak of new variants of the virus, many new symptoms of Covid-19 have also emerged. Some people have complained of back pain and headache even after they recovered from the Covid infection.

Studies on the issue have concluded that back pain is emerging as a major post-Covid symptom. According to experts, after Covid-19, cytokines hormones become very active, which causes back pain.

A recent study found that 63 percent of patients suffering from Delta Variant of Covid-19 and 42 percent of patients suffering from Omicron complained of back pain after Covid infection. Dr Charu Dutt Arora, Consultant at the Asian Institute of Medical Science, Faridabad, says that back pain has emerged as the most prominent post-Covid symptom, Indian Express reported. Dr Charu says that people usually see the coronavirus only by connecting it to respiratory problems, but in long-term symptoms, it affects many other organs apart from the lungs.

What is the reason for the pain:

Dr Arora said, the Covid infection primarily affects three major organs of the body after it’s been treated. Among these the lower back, muscles, and head are prominent. She said that the muscles near the knees hurt the most. Dr Arora said Covid-19 infection activates cytokines hormones. Cytokines are pro-inflammatory. It is due to the excessive release of this hormone that the possibility of inflammation in the cells becomes greater.

Cytokines lead to the formation of prostaglandins, also called E2. Prostaglandins activate pain messages in the brain. It is a kind of pain signal. This causes pain in the body.

How long the pain lasts:

Headache and lower backache are among the early indications of virus infection, according to Dr Charu. After infection, it lasts four to five days. However, even amid the long list of symptoms, back pain is the most common. A patient may feel troubled for six to nine months after the infection. This occurs as a result of Covid activating the inflammatory message. Dr Arora said that the persistence of pain for a long time after recovery from Covid is a side effect of cytokines. Although the virus can be killed in the body, the inflammatory reaction triggered by the infection is determined by the patient’s immune system’s response.

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