Why Does the Flu Cause Body Aches?
The flu is a viral infection that affects your respiratory system and can cause a variety of symptoms, such as fever, exhaustion, and body aches. When the virus enters the body, it prompts the immune system to react and fight off the infection, which might result in the production of inflammatory chemicals. Body pains might result from these chemicals’ effects on the muscles and joints. Dehydration, another effect of the flu virus, can worsen joint and muscle discomfort. Body aches are a typical flu symptom. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations near you to serve in Oklahoma City, OK.
Table of Contents:
When we contract a virus like the influenza, our bodies jump into action to fight off the virus as quickly as possible, leading to a variety of symptoms that we will experience for the coming days until the virus is sufficiently fought off. One of the more uncomfortable symptoms of the flu is body aches, specifically in our muscles and joints. The most important thing we can do to support our bodies in fighting off the virus is to provide it with plenty of rest and to sleep as much as possible to allow it to focus the energy towards the immune response. Suffering from aches and pains can quickly get in the way of allowing us to rest and sleep, slowing down our recovery process, so it is important to know how to alleviate these symptoms as much as possible.
The aching that is experienced in your body is not directly caused by the flu, but has more to do with the natural immune response your body has to fight off the infection. When your body encounters an infection, antibodies are sent to attach to the virus and produce proteins that are created to kill the virus. It is the presence of those proteins that leads to aching within our muscles. As well, we often will experience some inflammation which can lead to aching due to the productions of another type of small proteins that are used to provide signaling between cells.
The aching that you experience during the flu within the muscles and joints is caused by your immune system creating proteins and releasing white blood cells in an attempt to fight off the virus as quickly as possible. Colds and the influenza come with a list of very common side effects, with aching through your muscles and joints being high up on the list of common symptoms. While they are a healthy response to your body fighting off the virus, there are some things you can do to help alleviate some of the discomfort or pain that the aching may be causing.
Alongside aching in the muscles and joints, there are quite a few other common symptoms that are indicative of the flu. Early symptoms include fatigue, a sore throat, and developing a fever or feeling feverish. Once the flu has developed a bit, it is common to suffer from congestion or a runny nose, as well as headaches and a productive or dry cough. Less common but normal symptoms of the flu include vomiting and diarrhea, but this is far more common to occur in children than adults. The very early signs of the flu will be feeling off, as in sluggish, lethargic, along with muscle aches and weakness. These are common symptoms of many different viruses or infections, at which point your body is telling you to slow down and rest so that it can recover from whatever it is trying to fight off.
So long as you are of good health and are under the age of 65, you should be able to safely treat all flu symptoms from the comfort of your own home. The sooner the virus from the flu has been successfully fought off by your immune system the sooner all associated symptoms would be relieved. Some at-home remedies for the flu include getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated. As well, there are over the counter medications that can be taken that would provide relief for all flu symptoms including muscle and joint aches, nasal congestion, and fevers. Over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen will provide relief for any aching that is being experienced in the body due to the flu. Taking a warm bath or shower can also provide relief to those aching muscles and joints, at least temporarily to provide some comfort. If the aching becomes unmanageable or leads to visible swelling or redness in the joints, seek medical attention to rule out any other potential concerns and get recommendations for treatment from a health care professional.
For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations near you to serve in Oklahoma City, OK. We serve patients from West Moore OK, Norman (HealthPlex) OK, Norman (24th) OK, Edmond OK, Yukon OK, I-240 & Sooner RD OK, Tecumseh OK, Bethany OK and surrounding areas.
Additional Services You May Need
▸ Urgent Care Services
▸ Illness + Injuries
▸ On Site Lab + X-Ray
▸ Helpful Health
▸ Motor Vehicle Accidents
▸ Drug Testing
▸ UTI Treatment
▸ Employment Physicals
▸ Workers Comp
▸ Strep Throat Treatment
▸ Pregnancy Testing
▸ Blood Pressure Testing
▸ Mononucleosis Treatment
▸ Suture Removal
▸ Respiratory Syncytial Virus