Feeling pain in 3 key body parts could be a stealth sign you have Omicron

YOU’D be forgiven for thinking aches and pains were “nothing to worry about”.

But as the pandemic has worn on, it’s become clear that there are some signs of Covid that can be missed.

The NHS still lists a new persistent cough, a loss of taste and smell and a high temperature as the classic three warning signs of Covid. 

However, symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat and fatigue are familiar to those who have had the bug.

As new variants of the virus have popped up, and vaccinations have been rolled out, symptoms have changed over time.

Omicron is the most dominant strain of Covid in the UK right now – and has been proven to be milder than other variant, especially in the vaccinated.

Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.

But experts say if you feel unwell at all, it’s best to get those lateral flow tests to check that you don’t have the virus.

You may experience some pain throughout the body during Covid infection.

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Dr Charu Dutt Arora, of the Asian Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Faridabad, India, explained the virus “activates pain receptors in the body”.

Covid-19 infection stimulates the release of a hormone called cytokines, which causes inflammation.

Dr Arora told the Indian Express: “Cytokines leads to the formation of a prostaglandin known as E2, which activates all the pain receptors in the body.

“This is like a signal pathway from the cytokines to the prostaglandin E2 which further activates the pain pathway. This is why these three areas hurt during Covid-19.”

Among the unusual symptoms to watch for, those that may cause pain are:

  • Lower back pain
  • Headache
  • Knee pain

Lower back pain

Lower back pain was earmarked as a feature of Omicron back in December 2021, when it first emerged in South Africa.

It took a while for research to confirm the odd sign.

Now, the ZOE COVID Symptom Study lists lower back pain as one of the top 20 virus symptoms today.

It has been reported by 20 per cent of people who use the app and have a positive Covid test.


If you wake up with a banging headache for no obvious reason, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be Covid.

The ZOE study also finds that headache is very common for those who have Covid, affecting around 67 per cent of those with the bug.

If you have a headache on it’s own, there could be many other explanations.

But if it’s combined with a general feeling of “under the weather”, or symptoms such as sneezing and fatigue, it could very well be Covid.

Knee pain

Muscle pain is certainly not unheard of when it comes to Covid illness.

And Dr Arora claims this is “mainly around the knee area”.

Muscle pain is believed to be the result of inflammation which can be felt through the ligaments and joints.

Peter Whang, Yale Medicine orthopaedic spine surgeon and associate professor at Yale University School of Medicine, also told Huffington Post that much of Covid pain is being felt around the soft tissues and joints.

But experts are not clear why this appears to be a feature of Omicron more so than older strains of the virus.

The most common symptoms of Omicron

If you catch Covid, there’s no guessing which of the dozens of symptoms may strike.

But the most common are:

  • Runny nose (74 per cent)
  • Headache (67 per cent)
  • Sore throat (64 per cent)
  • Fatigue (64 per cent)
  • Sneezing (60 per cent)
  • Persistent cough (42 per cent)

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