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Why Does the Flu Cause Body Aches?

Microscopic View of the Influenza Virus

Practically everyone has come down with a case of the flu at one time or another, but each person experiences flu-like symptoms a bit differently. One of the many symptoms of the flu is body aches, which can leave an individual feeling weak, fatigued, and exhausted.

These are the reasons why the flu causes body aches and how these aches can be soothed away to make symptoms more manageable.

Symptoms of the Flu

Aches and pains are just two of many bodily symptoms associated with the flu. Other common symptoms include fever, chills, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, and sore throat.

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It typically takes less than two weeks for the body to fight off the flu, and most people recover over just a few days of becoming symptomatic. However, it is possible to develop health complications from the influenza virus. People who are over 65 years old, young children, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic conditions are most susceptible to flu complications.

The Cause of Body Aches

When an individual is suffering from the flu, natural chemicals are released in the body to help white blood cells fight off infection. However, these same chemicals can cause the body to feel aches and pains as a side effect. While uncomfortable and painful, body aches are often a good sign that white blood cells are working hard and that the body is fighting off the infection.

Dehydration is another major cause of bodily aches when a person has the flu. Whether sick or healthy, the body needs water to prevent muscle soreness and cramps. So by simply drinking more water, a flu-sufferer can reduce the chances of feeling aches and pains.

Who Is Most Susceptible to Flu-Related Aches?  

While some people experience aches and pains every time they get the flu, others rarely have this symptom at all. Various factors come into play to determine the length and severity of flu-related aches and pains.

Older adults tend to experience more aches when they have the flu, which can be due to the fact that their bodies often have a harder time fighting off the sickness. When the body has to work especially hard to fight off the flu, aches and pains are more likely to occur.

Also, people who live in cold climates sometimes experience more aches accompanied by the flu. This is because the body is more prone to soreness when exposed to cold temperatures. The flu makes the body’s resistance to cold weaker than usual.

Treatments for Flu-Related Body Aches

What many people don’t realize is that the powerful pain relief medications they take for headaches can soothe away pains for body aches as well. Vanquish fights tough aches and pains with two powerful pain relievers and a low dose of caffeine to bring fast pain relief.

Over-the-counter remedies with acetaminophen or aspirin often help relieve the pain of body aches. Otherwise, it is important to get plenty of rest and take warm baths to soothe sore muscles. A heating pad may also help to relieve muscle pain while recovering from the flu.

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