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A man is seated on a sofa holding his neck. He looks in pain.

What causes body aches?

Body aches can be caused by a multitude of factors, but they are easily treatable.

There are many causes for body aches ­– a hard workout, a cold, the flu, or even something more serious. In some cases, a few days of rest may be all you need to relieve your symptoms, but some aches, especially ones that have lasted for a long time, may need a professional diagnosis.1

Possible causes of short-term body aches1:

  • Cold or flu
  • Overuse of a certain muscle group
  • Stress

Why do we get body aches when we’re sick?

Body aches are a symptom that often accompanies the cold or flu. The common cold and the flu are both illnesses that affect the upper respiratory system and have similar symptoms but are caused by different viruses. The easiest way to tell the difference is by looking at the severity of the symptoms; cold symptoms are usually milder than flu symptoms.4 While it can seem like body aches are a part of the virus itself, they’re actually caused by your immune system’s response to it. As your body works to fight the virus, it can cause body aches and inflammation all over.2 While our bodies are launching an attack against the infected cells, the immune cells that are fighting the flu release a protein that can cause inflammation and body aches.2

Are there any treatments for body aches caused by a cold or a flu?

When you have a cold or flu, body aches can really pile on the misery. It can help to take an over-the-counter medicine with a pain reliever like acetaminophen, to help ease body achesTheraflu ExpressMax Daytime Severe Cold & Cough Syrup, which contains acetaminophen not only helps relieve body aches, but this multi-symptom formula also relieves nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, fever, headache, and sinus congestion.

A woman lying in bed is holding her hand to her head

When you have a cold or flu, body aches can really pile on the misery. It can help to take an over-the-counter medicine with a pain reliever like acetaminophen, to help ease body aches.

Are there any treatments for body aches caused by stress?

Stress management techniques are a great option for dealing with muscle aches caused by stress and anxiety. Making time for things you enjoy, regular exercise, and meditation are all effective techniques for reducing stress. Lifestyle changes, like a balanced diet and a regular sleep schedule, are also integral in managing your stress levels.3

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