When the influenza virus enters the body, it triggers an inflammatory response that can cause a range of symptoms. These include muscle and joint aches, which are caused by blood vessels becoming leaky and allowing immune cells to travel to the site of infection.
The inflammation also affects the nerves in the body, making them more sensitive to pain. This can make the muscle and joint aches feel even more intense and uncomfortable. The combination of inflammation and increased nerve sensitivity is what makes the flu feel so achy and miserable.
Understanding how inflammation plays a role in flu symptoms can help explain why over-the-counter pain relievers, which reduce inflammation, can be effective in alleviating some discomfort. Additionally, this knowledge can inform the development of new treatments for the flu that specifically target the inflammatory response itself.