Lower Back Pain COVID | Total Performance Physical Therapy

Lower Back Pain COVID

February 9, 2021

With so many people having had COVID we are now starting to deal with the aftereffects of having COVID-19.  There seem to be many symptoms that occur during COVID and even more symptoms that occur after recovering from COVID.  Many people are reporting that they had no severe symptoms when they were diagnosed with COVID but months later they still suffering from the effects of COVID.

One of the more common symptoms of COVID is back pain.  COVID back pain is something that can happen while you have COVID and can last far beyond after you test negative.  The difficulty lies in differentiating COVID back pain from back pain that occurs because of other things going on in the body.

First what COVID back pain is not.  COVID back pain is not:

COVID back pain IS:

While no symptoms of COVID are to be ignored, we must differentiate between what is being caused by COVID and what is not.  There is not much treatment that can occur for back pain that you are suffering during being positive for COVID.  That period of 2-4 weeks where you are testing positive and have a symptom of back pain is not something that is treatable.  However, we are finding that the effects of having COVID are lasting far beyond the 2–4-week positive testing period and this is the back pain that is treatable.

Back pain that goes on for weeks and even months causes compensation patterns to develop that will worsen your back pain.  While your back pain may have started because of COVID, your back is now hurting for entirely different reasons that you need to get treated.  Knots in the muscles, weakness, compensation strategies are all things that are occurring because of COVID and are all things that are treatable.

Also, regardless of whether you tested positive for COVID or not, we were 50% less active last year than previous years based on activity levels tracked by our cell phones.  Being sedentary puts tremendous strain on our bodies and causes us to have pain in the neck, upper back, and lower back.  This has nothing to do with a positive or negative COVID diagnosis and everything to do with problems that you need to address.  Putting off addressing pain that you are having is only going to lead to worse problems later.  Ignoring your pain or treating with at home remedies can work for a while but in the end, it will catch up with you and wind up costing you more money and time later.

Another impact we are seeing from COVID as it relates to not only lower back pain but upper as well is the effect COVID has on your lungs and the ability to breathe.  Whether you had any symptoms of COVID or not, many are reporting difficulty returning to prior activity levels due to exhaustion and decreased ability to breathe.  When you are having a hard time breathing you will begin to recruit muscles in the low back and upper back to help get in air.  This can cause tremendous pain in your upper and lower back.  The longer this persists the worse the pain can become, and it also can have lasting effects on your ability to breathe if left untreated.

Do not assume you have COVID because you have back pain and do not brush off your back pain because you think it is just a side effect of COVID.  Both are very serious and knowing what to look for is imperative in making a full recovery for both.  Back pain that is persisting beyond 4 weeks is not due to COVID.  It may have started because of COVID but is still lingering because of other causes that you need to have treated.  Having the best recovery for both means getting treatment as soon as you can.

If you or someone you know is suffering from the aftereffects of COVID-19 and lives in Bucks or Montgomery County PA and wants a free consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy, just call our office at 215-997-9898 or click here to enter your information and we will be happy to get you in!