Headaches And Body Aches
Headaches are generally rare in cases of the common cold and tend to occur much more frequently with the flu. While body aches could occur with the common cold or the flu, they tend to be much more severe in cases of the flu. Patients who experience body aches with a cold often have only a slight ache, and body aches that occur with the flu can be so severe that it hurts to move. To treat headaches and body aches from either type of viral infection, doctors recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen may be beneficial, and some physicians recommend alternating between ibuprofen and acetaminophen for extra relief.
Staying hydrated can also help with headache relief, and patients may want to track their fluid intake with a log or with an online app. Water, broth, juice, and electrolyte drinks are typically suggested as sources of hydration during an illness. Patients might be able to ease body aches with massage, and it could help to apply a heating pad to the affected area. Warm showers and baths can soothe aches, and patients may want to use a topical pain reliever as well. If body aches continue for more than three days, the patient should make an appointment with their doctor. Emergency medical care is necessary if body aches occur together with shortness of breath, fever, or vomiting.
Continue reading to learn more about the differences between the common cold and the flu now.