Fever and backache

The definition

In medicine, fever and back pain are two independent symptoms. Therefore, there are two separate definitions for fever and back pain. Of course, these symptoms can occur simultaneously or even together with other complaints and should then be interpreted accordingly.

A person has a fever by definition when body temperature rises to over 38 degrees Celsius. The causative process of the fever is an adjustment of the set point of the body core temperature: Whenever the brain wants to increase the temperature, this information is transmitted from the brainstem to the nervous system of the entire body. Back pain is pain in the back, lumbar or neck area. The back of the shoulder can also be affected.

The reasons

Both fever and back pain are very nonspecific symptoms. That is, they can be triggered by an extremely wide range of different diseases and causes.

Light-bodied feverish temperatures and back pain are often triggered by a flu or a flu-like infection. The body reacts to such a viral infection with an increase in body temperature, as it supports certain immune cells in their function. With back and limb pain, the body tries to prevent the affected person from moving too much - inflammatory messengers, which mediate excessive pain stimuli, play a major role here.
But other infectious diseases can cause fever and back pain, such as meningitis, ie an inflammation of the meninges. Since this cover is also found around the spinal cord, the pain is felt not only in the head, but also along the spine.

In rare cases, a malignant neoplasm or cell proliferation, as a tumor, can be the cause of back pain and fever. Therefore, any prolonged fever should be examined anyway, with back pain, it is highly recommended.

The accompanying symptoms

The headache

The causes of headaches are extremely versatile. Headache as a concomitant symptom of fever and back pain may be a manifestation of a bacterial or viral infection, such as influenza. On the one hand, this can lead to an increased sensation of pain, on the other hand dehydration (dehydration) can develop due to the fever and increased sweating, which additionally favors headaches.

Caution is advised if the headache becomes extremely severe, causes loss of vision such as blurred vision or neck stiffness: Then the head and back pain with the fever may indicate a meningitis, which should be treated as soon as possible in a hospital.

The night sweat

In the context of fever episodes, it comes naturally to increased sweating. Each time a fever rush is over and the set point is lowered, the body tries to cool itself with fluid on the skin. In medicine, however, night sweats are understood to be such a sweat that every morning or even in the middle of the night the clothes or bed sheets have to be changed, as they are soaked.

Night sweat in this sense is a sign that the metabolism of the body is greatly increased - this can be the case both in tumors and in infectious diseases. In any case, strong nocturnal sweating of this kind in connection with fever and back pain should be examined very promptly by a doctor.

The sickness

Nausea can be caused by many causes, but mostly it is an indication of an infection of the gastrointestinal tract. This also fits the symptom fever: With this increase in temperature, the body tries to make the immune cells to fight infection. Back pain can also occur with a gastrointestinal infection.
It is also rare that nausea is first caused by (severe) back pain - but more often there is a common origin of these symptoms in the sense of gastrointestinal infection.

The joint pain

If painful joints are added to the fever and the back pain, this indicates - similar to muscular pain or pain in the limbs - a flu or a flu infection. As described above, evolutionarily this is a tool of the body to keep the affected person from physical exertion.

Pains in the limbs and joints are also causally connected with each other: To fever, the body releases inflammatory messengers, which also make it more sensitive to pain. The pain threshold is reduced so far that even body parts can hurt "for no reason" - such as joints or muscle parts.

When do I have to go to the doctor?

Since fever and back pain in this combination may also indicate more serious infections, medical advice should be sought promptly in some situations. Such situations include a fever lasting more than one day in children or more than three days in adults.

Even if the back pain transgresses in the head or sensory or awareness clouding occur, the call to the emergency medical service should not be hesitated. Even if the back pain causes a restriction of movement, such as the chin can no longer be placed on the chest or running in pain is no longer possible, the disease should not be treated without medical help.

The therapy

The treatment of fever and back pain can be symptomatic to alleviate the symptoms. For example, antipyretic drugs such as paracetamol or home remedies can be used. Physical measures such as heat pads or a hot bath can help against back pain.

Symptomatic treatment is recommended especially for flu-like infections, as these infections are ideally "eaten" over the course of a few days. However, if the symptoms persist for a few days, or are worse, treatment should be continued with medical help.
The therapy should then be directed to the cause and to find out, it usually requires a follow-up diagnosis. If a bacterial infection is the cause must be resorted to antibiotics - here can tell the doctor or the doctor, which agent is most effective.

In case of diminished consciousness or in children, special caution should be exercised and a physician consulted faster.

Home remedies as a treatment option

To reduce fever, there are a variety of simple and presiwert home remedies.
These include, for example, the calf wrap: For this purpose, some cloths are dipped in warm water of about 30-35 ° C and then wrapped tightly around the calves. The body temperature can be lowered quite reliably within one hour by about 1 ° C.

For example, natural pain relieving substances such as willow bark extract are available against back pain. This substance is also the starting material for the production of the well-known painkiller aspirin. Also, heat pads that are heated in warm water or in the microwave can be placed on the back to relieve the pain caused by illness.

The most important and probably the simplest home remedy for fever and back pain, however, is rest and protection, as well as drinking plenty of water and to look for a vitamin intake of fresh vegetables or fruits. Also, the juice of half a lemon can be diluted with hot water to about a cup amount, a few thin slices of ginger and half a teaspoon of honey are added. The resulting drink can provide relief especially with flu-like infections, and is thus the most common cause of fever and back pain.

Homeopathy as a therapy option

In homeopathy, one must always consider the entire clinical picture in connection with the personality of the patient in order to find the right remedy based on the resulting "drug picture". Therefore, no general drug recommendation can be made at this point. Nevertheless, some homeopathic remedies should be mentioned, which are often used in fever and associated back pain.

For example, gelsemium is a commonly used remedy for a cold infection associated with neck pain. Aconite can also be used if the affected person is overly sensitive to pain due to the disease. Rhus toxcodendron is also said to help if the person feels choppy and still can not stand still.
For an individual prescription of a particular homeopathic remedy, however, the respective drug images should be compared with the symptoms of the affected person or a suitably trained person, such as a health practitioner, should be consulted.

The duration

When the fever and back pain disappear together with the possibly accompanying symptoms depends largely on their cause. An infection should at least disappear after a few days or even disappear completely. If this is not the case, medical advice should be sought.

Basically, you should go to the doctor at the latest when the fever persists continuously for more than three days, gets worse or more intense or evidence of meningitis.


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  • heart and circulation 
  • pediatrics 
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