‘INCREDIBLY PAINFUL,’ says Ellen DeGeneres. ‘I had no idea that was a symptom.’

Recently, Ellen DeGeneres shared her experience with COVID-19, bringing attention to an unexpected symptom: severe back pain. She took precautions, but in December 2020, she still got the infection. “What they don’t tell you is that you will have severe back pain,” the woman said, sharing her personal story. That didn’t occur to me as a symptom until I talked to a couple other folks.

Although muscular aches were mentioned, back pain was not included by the CDC as a COVID symptom at the beginning of the pandemic. As the virus spread throughout the world, more people began to report having back pain, in part because of the restricted physical activity brought on by lockdowns and remote work.

According to a study conducted in Malta, the percentage of patients with back pain increased from 30% to 49% after the pandemic started. Even though back discomfort is a sign of COVID-19, an infection is not always the cause of it. Backaches can be caused by a wide range of different conditions, so it’s important to look into other symptoms and, if necessary, seek medical attention.

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