What Do COVID-19 Body Aches Feel Like? Coronavirus Symptoms

Medically Reviewed on 12/22/2022
What Do COVID-19 Body Aches Feel Like
COVID-19 body aches may feel like dull muscle pain

COVID-19 aches can range from mild to moderate. Most people have reported that COVID-19 body aches feel like dull muscle pain that typically affects the shoulders, lower back, or legs and may limit or restrict their mobility.

Learn more about coronavirus symptoms and how to get rid of COVID aches.

How long does COVID aching last?

Aches or muscle pains may be an early sign of COVID-19, often appearing at the very start of the illness and lasting for an average of 2-3 days.

Unfortunately, aches related to the coronavirus can sometimes last much longer and are commonly reported in people with long COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 syndrome.

What are considered the first symptoms of COVID-19?

According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms may include:

Apart from the coronavirus, however, body aches can also be a symptom of:

  • Other viral diseases, such as flu
  • Bad posture
  • Heavy workouts
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Medications such as statins

What causes body aches in COVID-19?

Muscle aches in COVID-19 are a result of inflammation in the body. This inflammatory response from the immune system is triggered by the invading virus that involves a series of complex processes that the body uses as a defense mechanism to fight off the invading pathogens.

About 1 out of 3 people infected with COVID-19 report body aches as a symptom. It is more common in adults between ages 16-65 (41%) than children (15%) or people over 65 (36%). A report from the World Health Organization analyzed nearly 56,000 coronavirus cases in China and found that nearly 15% of patients experienced muscle aches and pains.

What helps with COVID aches?

If you are suffering from muscle aches and other flu-like symptoms and suspect it could be due to the virus, you should:

If your symptoms are severe, contact your healthcare provider.

Medically Reviewed on 12/22/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

World Health Organization. COVID-19. https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus#tab=tab_1

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of COVID-19. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html