What to Do About Long COVID Back Pain

Dealing with long COVID back pain can be frustrating. It’s not easy living with persistent discomfort and limited mobility. If you or someone you know is struggling with this, you’re not alone. Many people are facing the same challenges.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to manage and alleviate your symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore some practical strategies and tips for dealing with long COVID back pain. This way, you can start feeling better and get back to the activities you enjoy.

Understanding Long COVID Back Pain

Typical Symptoms and Duration of Long COVID Musculoskeletal Discomfort

Musculoskeletal discomfort in long COVID cases can cause muscle and joint pain, stiffness, tenderness, and aches in different body parts. About 10% of people with long COVID experience these symptoms.

The duration of musculoskeletal discomfort can vary, lasting for weeks to months and contributing to long-term consequences known as post-acute COVID-19 and chronic COVID-19.

Recovery from these symptoms is uncertain and can be prolonged, often requiring ongoing management and potential referral to physical therapy, behavioral, and mental health services for comprehensive care.

Causes of Persistent Back Pain in Long COVID cases

Persistent back pain in Long COVID cases can be caused by inflammation generated by COVID-19 affecting muscles and joints. This can lead to musculoskeletal symptoms and back pain in one in five individuals with Long COVID. Musculoskeletal symptoms lasting over 12 weeks contribute to prolonged back pain. The lack of clear definitions for post-acute and chronic COVID-19 conditions emphasizes the lasting impact of musculoskeletal pain, including vertebral pain.

A sedentary lifestyle can worsen Long COVID-related back pain by causing stiffness and aches. Seeking advice from a healthcare provider for pain management and treatment is important.

Addressing Long COVID Back Pain

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

If you have persistent back pain from Long COVID, it’s important to see a healthcare professional if you notice signs like stiffness, tenderness, and aches in different parts of your body.

To figure out if your musculoskeletal discomfort from Long COVID needs medical attention, you can evaluate how long the pain has lasted and how severe it is, especially if the symptoms continue past the recovery phase. Vertebral pain and ongoing musculoskeletal pain in Long COVID indicate the need for medical care, given the underestimated impact of these symptoms.

Seeking medical help is crucial if the pain continues and is linked to Long COVID symptoms. Professional guidance can help create personalized management plans and may lead to referrals for physical therapy and behavioral and mental health services. Getting medical attention is also important to minimize any negative effects, as there are limited treatment options for Long COVID, and symptomatic therapies are often used to manage these conditions.

Alignment in a Sedentary Lifestyle: Mitigating Risks While Working from Home

To stay comfortable while working from home with a sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to do safe physical activities daily. This can include regular stretching and low-impact exercises like walking or yoga. These activities can help with back discomfort and overall physical well-being.

It’s also important to have good posture and use an ergonomically designed workspace to prevent strain on the spine and muscles. Taking breaks to move and stretch, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and using hot and cold therapy when needed can also help manage discomfort.

If you’re experiencing musculoskeletal pain, it’s a good idea to seek professional guidance before taking pain relievers. Considering physical therapy or behavioral and mental health services can also be beneficial in addressing and preventing long-term pain.

Long COVID Back Pain Management Strategies

Safe Physical Activities to Alleviate Back Discomfort

Some safe physical activities for alleviating back discomfort in individuals with long COVID include swimming, walking, gentle yoga, and Pilates. These activities can improve flexibility, strengthen back-supporting muscles, and promote overall physical well-being.

To ensure safety, individuals with long COVID should start slowly, increase intensity gradually, be mindful of limitations, and practice proper form. Consulting with a healthcare provider or physical therapist before starting any new exercise program is advisable to ensure it aligns with their individual needs and conditions.

Avoiding high-impact activities like running or jumping, heavy weightlifting, and intense aerobic workouts is important to prevent further back discomfort. It’s crucial for individuals with long COVID to listen to their bodies and avoid activities that cause increased pain or discomfort.

Medication and Supplements: What Can Help?

One way to help ease back pain in Long COVID cases is with medication and supplements. Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain. Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids supplements may also help reduce inflammation and support overall musculoskeletal health.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before integrating these medications and supplements into a comprehensive management strategy for Long COVID musculoskeletal discomfort. This is to determine the most suitable options and consider potential side effects and interactions. Professional guidance is essential.

Healthcare providers may also consider referring individuals to physical therapy and behavioral and mental health services to address the multifaceted nature of Long COVID musculoskeletal symptoms. In addition, non-pharmacological approaches such as exercise, aquatic therapy, and hot and cold therapy can complement medication and supplement use in a treatment plan for Long COVID back pain.

Integrative Therapies: Alternative Options for Relief

Integrative therapies for long COVID back pain relief include hot and cold therapy, physical therapy, and aquatic therapy. These methods help reduce discomfort, stiffness, and improve muscle strength and flexibility.

To incorporate these options into a comprehensive management plan, it’s important to consult a healthcare provider for personalized recommendations. These therapies should be integrated with medication, rest, and mental health support to address the multifaceted nature of long COVID symptoms.

Integrative therapies are crucial for long-term recovery from musculoskeletal symptoms related to long COVID. They offer holistic approaches to pain management and rehabilitation, contributing to overall physical function, mobility, and the individual’s quality of life.

The Role of Physical Therapy in Recovering from Long COVID

People who had COVID-19 may feel muscle and joint pain. This can cause stiffness, tenderness, and aches, especially in the back. About 10% of those with long COVID experience this discomfort for a long time.

If the pain continues, it’s important to see a healthcare provider. To manage the discomfort, staying hydrated, resting, and using hot and cold therapy can help. It’s crucial to seek guidance before taking pain relief medication.

Physical therapy can be very helpful in reducing musculoskeletal discomfort and aiding in the recovery from long COVID. Exercise and aquatic therapy are also recommended as safe activities to help with back discomfort and recovery from long COVID.

The Importance of Movement for Long-term Recovery

How Long Can Long COVID Musculoskeletal Symptoms Last?

Individuals with long COVID can experience musculoskeletal symptoms for extended periods, sometimes exceeding 2 years based on the severity of their condition. These symptoms are influenced by factors such as inflammation caused by COVID-19, which can lead to prolonged back pain and other discomfort. Recovery timelines for these symptoms vary for each person. It’s advisable to seek professional guidance before using over-the-counter pain relievers.

Managing the discomfort involves staying hydrated, getting rest, and using hot and cold therapy. Furthermore, exercise, aquatic therapy, physical therapy, and mental health services can help address these conditions.

Managing Expectations: A Timeline for Recovery

Long COVID can cause lasting musculoskeletal discomfort, like back pain, that can persist for more than 12 weeks. This indicates post-acute and chronic COVID-19. It’s important to consult healthcare professionals for potential therapies to manage these symptoms. Recovery timelines can vary based on the initial infection severity and individual health. Seeking guidance for pain management, including physical therapy and consultation with pain specialists, can help manage recovery expectations.

Movement is crucial for long-term recovery, and healthcare providers may recommend exercise and aquatic therapy. Staying hydrated and getting adequate rest are also important. This approach can help individuals set realistic expectations for recovery and overall well-being.


What are some ways to manage long COVID back pain?

Some ways to manage long COVID back pain include staying active with gentle exercises like walking or swimming, practicing good posture, using relaxation techniques like yoga or tai chi, and seeking physical therapy or chiropractic care.

Should I consult with a doctor about my long COVID back pain?

Yes, it is important to consult with a doctor about your long COVID back pain. They can provide personalized treatment plans, recommend physical therapy, or prescribe pain medication if necessary.

What are some exercises or stretches that can help with long COVID back pain?

Some exercises and stretches that can help with long COVID back pain include cat-cow stretch, pelvic tilts, and gentle yoga or Pilates. Low-impact cardio like walking or swimming can also help.

Are there any specific medications or treatments for long COVID back pain?

Yes, specific treatments for long COVID back pain may include physical therapy, pain management techniques, and medications such as anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants.

How can I prevent long COVID back pain from getting worse?

Stay active, practice good posture, and use ergonomic tools. Take regular breaks when sitting, use a standing desk, and do gentle exercises like yoga or Pilates.