Updated: Jul 21, 2022
If you have the Omicron variant of COVID-19 you may be more likely to experience lower back pain. In this article we will discuss:
Why your back hurts with Omicron
What is actually happening in your back
How to deal with the Omicron back pain
It has been cited in several places (The Omicron Symptom That Should Not be Ignored: Lower Back Pain and Omicron variant in California: This ‘may be the riskiest time since March 2020') that the most recent variation of COVID-19 Omicron has the unique feature of back pain as well as the common itchy through, cough, nasal congestion and other symptoms.
Omicron Symptoms Back Pain:
1) Ache/Dull Pain in the lower back
2) Pain in the low back when sitting for too long
3) Sharp pain when moving too quickly
4) Back pain when standing up
5) Back pain when standing for too long
6) Back pain when twisting
7) Back pain after coughing
8) Odd positions causing back pain
Youtube video explaining COVID-19 Omicron back pain
It has been reported that
The first reports of Omicron from South Africa included lower back pain as a symptom and reports from other countries include myalgia or muscle ache too.
Myalgia is just another name for tight and sensitive muscles that can cause pain. These articles go on to describe the back pain that omicron brings about it often just mild enough to become frustrating and likely not debilitating. But, we are still in the process of realizing if your back pain will go away when omicron goes away. Scroll to the end of the blog for solutions to your pain.
These articles really just tell you, yes, there is a connection, but give vague ideas about why you're in pain and what you can actually do about it. Which is why the main point of this article is to help you find some relief.
Why back pain with Omicron?
The most commonly cited reason for back pain with omicron is that the viral infection has caused inflammation in the body and especially the back. Inflammation itself though does not really cause pain. So what is going on here?
1) It's more likely that your low back already has issues that you have not dealt with and the omicron has weakened your bodies ability to fight your back pain as it is not caught up dealing with the omicron virus. This is most likely.
2) Kidney stones, period cramps or just muscle aches? Omicron may not incite these, but worsen them if you are already dealing with these issues. The bodies attempt to divert all its resources to fighting a viral infection can leave other areas open to more pain than usual.
What is actually happening with your back pain?
You are hopefully also resting more to help recover from omicron. This rest can mimic the sedentary lifestyle that often causes low back pain. The back, joints and muscles were built to move. If they do not move, they get angry. But you must the rest when recovering from Omicron, so do not go out and try to be overly active. I suggest some exercises and stretches at the end of the blog that may help.
Because of your underlying back issues you may have to be patient with the back pain and focus on recovering from omicron before dealing with the low back pain. Keep omicron as your priority now and deal with the back pain after.
How coughing, abs/core causes back pain with Omicron
If you have been coughing a lot due to the viral infection of your respiratory system it may strain your abdominal muscles with pulls away a layer of protection for your low back. Everyone knows that your back and core support each other.
The combination of fatigue, poor or odd posture during recovery, ab weakness from coughing and viral inflammation add to the chances you'll likely have back pain during Omicron.
How to deal with Omicron back pain?
After dealing with the viral component, we need to know if your low back pain is chronic or acute? If it is acute then you'll need to seek professional help. If it is more chronic and you feel like you can deal with it yourself then I suggest you work through the Anterior Pelvic Tilt program we have created. It's great for a wide variety of low back issues. It will get you feeling like you can move again.
Once you are feeling better you should begin to get active again. Short walks to help "get your lungs back" and rebuild your cardio. This is a must do, but if your problems are more specific to the low back then I highly recommend you do the stretches and exercises in our Foundations Program to help your low back and hips move again.
It's not just stretches, but also exercises to help strengthen up the low back and hips to get you feeling good again!
Plan of Action
Recovery from COVID-19 Omicron and the viral component should take priority, but once the virus has been beaten work on rebuilding your cardio as well as your rehabbing your back and hips.