- There has been a surge of omicron patients experiencing lower back pain and myalgia
- The symptoms could be related to inflammatory mediators that are released in excess in omicron cases
- Studies are needed to determine the cause of the symptoms, doctors say
Many COVID-19 patients who are recovering or have recovered from an omicron variant-related infection have complained about severe back pain, doctors said.
While back pain has always been a common symptom of viral diseases, there has been a surge of its appearance in omicron patients, India.com reported, citing Dr. Harish Chafle, senior consultant of Pulmonology and Clinical Care at Global Hospital in Mumbai, India.
Patients specifically experienced lower back pain and myalgia, or pain in a muscle or group of muscles, according to the doctor.
“It is a well-known fact that myalgias are commonly seen in viral infections. COVID is not an exception, but we are seeing more cases of back pain with Omicron even after recovery which patients label as weakness,” Chafle noted.
These back pains can be controlled in time if treated effectively, but they will cause postural problems and long-term backache if not attended to and corrected early, the doctor explained.
However, Chafle said that the back pain will also ease “as the disease process gets better.”
As for their possible causes, the doctor suggested that these symptoms may be related to inflammatory mediators in the body that are released in excess in omicron cases. But he emphasized that studies are needed to prove or disprove this hypothesis.
Another theory Chafle offered was that the back pains could be the result of people having low levels of Vitamin D3.
“It’s a common finding that in this pandemic – as [we are all] inside [our homes] – the levels of Vitamin D3 have gone very low. This can be one reason for [lower back pains],” the doctor said.
Chafle recommended that people replenish their Vitamin D3 and calcium levels if they were deficient in either.
Determining the cause of the back pain is difficult due to the limited data on omicron as well as the costs associated with gene sequencing, according to the doctor. However, he urged people who experience back pain and want to overcome it to do the following:
- Keep moving and stretching when completing the quarantine period
- Do regular exercises that can be done at home for back muscle strengthening
- Take the help of a physiotherapist online if needed
- Correct your posture while sitting and avoid stopping while sitting
- Apply hot fomentation and massage to relieve pain
India has reported a total of 36,317,927 COVID-19 cases and 485,131 virus-related deaths as of Thursday, data provided by Johns Hopkins University showed.