Have you experienced excruciating joint and muscle pain while having the flu? Though this pain is never pleasant, it is evidence that your body’s immune system is working.
When a flu virus enters your body, your immune system gets ready for battle. White blood cells react and prepare to fight the viral infection. However, you may suffer side effects of this natural reaction including headaches, fever, runny nose, and sore throat. Along with these, you may experience muscle weakness (called myositis) and joint and muscle pain (called myalgia). These side effects are actually your immune system telling you to rest until the virus leaves your body.
“Your immune system sends antibodies to find flu viruses,” says Dr. Jason Vourazeris, orthopedic surgeon at Ortho El Paso. “This defensive action blocks the virus and prevents the infection from spreading to other healthy cells. In cases of influenza, muscle and joint pain are a common side effect,” concludes Dr. V.
Listen to Your Body...and Your Mother!
If you suspect you have the flu, take mom’s advice: rest and drink plenty of fluids. Definitely STAY HOME. The flu is a quick, airborne-spreading disease. Most people feel better in 3 to 5 days, though some may remain sore, weak and tired for up to a couple of weeks. If aches and joint pain continue for more than a couple of weeks after your flu has disappeared, make an appointment with me. Your aches and pains may have another cause and the virus may have actually exposed this more serious issues.
For a consultation to better understand your persistent joint pain, call the offices of Ortho El Paso at 915-249-4000.