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Flu like symptoms?

Has anyone ever experienced flu-like symptoms associated with back pain. This has happened to me 4 times. The first time was last January. I was watching a movie at 2 a.m. and 10 minutes later I was aching really bad all over but worse from the waist down, I was freezing so badly that I was shaking. I got up to go get someting to drink and I could barely walk from a combination of the body aching and the shaking from being so cold. My temperature was even up, I went from feeling normal to a 102 temperature within 10 minutes. I ended up back on the couch with a quilt and a heating pad, I couldnt get warm no matter what I did. I finally went to sleep and when I woke up 6 hours later all my flu-like symptoms were gone. Would over doing it have caused this to happen? I asked my dr about it and she said it was my body's way of resetting itself after sensing something was off. Has anyone ever had this happen or ever heard of such a thing? Would and ESI had anything to do with this if the injection had been 3 weeks earlier? I do know this sounds crazy but it has actually happened to me and I'm just curious if anyone else has ever had this happen or what it could be.


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Just to rule out that you are not getting a spine infection
  • Taren,
    I experienced those exact same symptoms, was misdiagnosed by 2 doctors, and an emergency room team, until someone suggested a Cat scan which showed a large spinal infection. I'm not saying you have the same thing because you could not go on for months with it coming and going. However, it is very suspicious and I'd ask for a blood test to see if you have an infection. If thats positive, I'd ask for an MRI or C-scan of your back.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • I have bloodwork done on a regular basis (every 3 months) because I am type 1 diabetic and I have hereditary chronic pancreatits. She thought I had a viral infection based on the symptoms. She did a throat swab for strep (even though I had no sore throat) She checked for H1N1..both were negative. My bloodwork also came back negative for an infection. She really was clueless as to what causes this to happen. Thats when she told me it was my body's way of resetting itself after sensing somethig was not right. Its the same symptoms every time and it goes away. No offense to her but I'm just not so sure I buy the body resetting itself theory. I just know it makes me feel really bad when it happens. Its probably going to be one of those symptoms that makes absolutely no sense at all now but later something will be found and it will become clear why it happens, like alot of my symptoms and prognosis have been in the past. It did start to happen after I started getting ESI'S. I'm just at a loss. When it happens again, I'm going to try to get into my dr on that day for bloodwork and see if anything shows up while I'm having the symptoms. I wonder if that would make a difference? Thanks for the advice of asking for a MRI or CT-SCAN, if I show positive for an infection.
  • I had a knee replacement 5 weeks ago a nd since I will spike fevers and freeze and ache all over. This has happened 5 or 6 times. I was afraid I had infection in knee but blood work came back normal. I do have markers for lupus and am being treated with medication but neither my surgeon nor my rheumatologist are sure what is causing them....Wow how strange that some one else is having same symptoms. Please let me know how it works out and if doctors find anything and I will do the same.

  • Hi
    i have an immunodeficiency disease and i get those same symptoms often

    My infectious disease doc believes that they are VIRAL INFECTIONS and only need time to run their course
  • I have the exact same symptoms! I have been having these flu-like symptoms on and off for several years now with no explanation from my dr! I've nvr had any surgeries on my back but I have had several cervical spine injections. Most of mine have occurred at nite so I am able to take something to help me sleep and by the next am I feel fine...except for the normal back pain which nvr goes away! Hmmm this is really strange! I am kinda relieved to know that I'm not the only person that suffers from this strange illness just wish someone new the cause. I thought mb it was ovr exertion but the more it occurs I know thats not the case bc sometimes I've not been doing anything at all when it shows up!
  • TarenTTaren Posts: 525
    edited 09/27/2013 - 12:20 PM
    kamgram said:
    I had a knee replacement 5 weeks ago a nd since I will spike fevers and freeze and ache all over. This has happened 5 or 6 times. I was afraid I had infection in knee but blood work came back normal. I do have markers for lupus and am being treated with medication but neither my surgeon nor my rheumatologist are sure what is causing them....Wow how strange that some one else is having same symptoms. Please let me know how it works out and if doctors find anything and I will do the same.
    Kamgram, if I ever find out what causes this to happen I will definitely let you know. All my bloodwork came back normal for an infection too. How long do your symptoms last with the freezing, temp and aching--mine will be gone withing 6-8 hours. I, too, was checked for Lupus. The drs were thinking it could be the reason I have pancreatitis. I think, possibly, it's happening because we all have a disease that compromises our immune system....maybe? I just don't know. If you keep doing it though I would keep having them check you out with bloodwork, especially since you just had knee surgery. Have you only been having the flu symptoms since your knee operation???
  • Mine happens at night too. Like you, I thought maybe I was overdoing it. It gets really bad, it feels so much like the flu. Thank goodness it goes away after a few hours. Have your drs ever give you any idea what so ever what could be doing it? Did they do bloodwork to check for an infection?
  • That is very interesting. I would imagine it is hard for you to fight anything off isn't it...even a common cold? How long have you been dealing with these symptoms?
  • Taren said:
    Mine happens at night too. Like you, I thought maybe I was overdoing it. It gets really bad, it feels so much like the flu. Thank goodness it goes away after a few hours. Have your drs ever give you any idea what so ever what could be doing it? Did they do bloodwork to check for an infection?
    One time my GP said it cld be a flare up from me having mono years ago bc once u have it you will always be a carrier of it and it can relapse from time to time but ur blood work will nvr test positive for it again even during a relapse! It will only show that ur a carrier. So idk but thats the closest to an explanation that ive evr got! Strange right?!
  • That is wierd but I guess it's possible since they do say "ANYTHING" is possible....My daughter was diagnoised with mono about 10 years ago, I wonder if I would have picked it up from her and it could be causing my symptoms? Something to consider I guess. When I get my next round of bloodwork, in November, I will have my dr check and see if I have it or am a carrier. The thing I find most wierd about it all is that for hours I will feel horrible, with definite flu symptoms--102 fever & all and then by the next morning every symptom is gone except for, like you said, the deep achiness that lingers....
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    My blood work always came back normal until I had the infection for over a year. I was told by my Dr that only 50% of people will the infection show on the blood work, The next step would be a bone scan ( nuclear). I had been feeling really bad like the flu for almost a year, night sweats that were horrible ( which is a symptom of infection in the spine). Most but not all people will lose weight without trying. I knew something was horribly wrong with me and went to my Dr and told him I am not leaving this office until we figure out what is going on, either put me in the hospital or start doing test. I wasn't leaving until there was some sort of plan. He ordered a bone scan which showed spine infection and sent me to a surgeon. O f course I couldn't get into the surgeon for a month. While sitting in the surgeons waiting room waiting my turn the Dr came out and called my name. He said I am not even going to put you in a room, you should of been in the hospital a month ago. I will do my consult at the hospital and off I went. The rest is history
  • My dad just went thru this spine infection just as u did! He started with the symptons in may and was finally admitted into the hospital in late august where they started antibiotics intravenously! He was in very bad shape every day all day b4 his diagnosis and treatment. Im pretty sure this is not the issue with me bc I only have the flu like symptoms occasionally...fever and all. Sometimes it last only a few hrs sometimes a day but then goes away and I feel "normal" again! Maybe I need to talk to my dr in more depth regarding these symptoms since I now know its not "all in my head" bc there are actually other ppl who suffer with these mystery symptoms!
  • I do feel like I have a flu or symptoms, but I NEVER get a fever. I mean my temp always stays about 97.8 no matter how sick I get. I tell my Drs if I ever register a fever they better admit me, because something must be really wrong, lol. I get those chills and my face feels flush and I ache. I take my meds hop in bed with a heating pad and usuallly when I wake I feel better. May be our body is just telling us to rest, because it does seem to happen on days I am extra busy.
  • I have had 3 surgeries. 2 in the cervical and the most recent a lumbar. I got really sick after my second neck surgery. Swear it lasted a year. Nobody believed how I felt. Never figured out what it was. I have never really perked back up. I get exhausted and feel sick starting around 2 or 3 in the afternoon now. What a joy!
  • I am still dealing with flu-like symptoms and fevers. In fact, here are 4 a.m. this morning I'm sitting here feeling like I have the flu combined with the usual fever I get--up to 101.4. I have a new PCP now, I saw her for the 1st time today. She is really concerned about these symptoms. I asked her if it were possible that it could be a spinal infection she did not think it was due to the fact I have had these symptoms for almost a year now. She feels my symptoms are more indicative of rheumatoid arthritis or lupus--I go back Monday morning for fasting bloodwork and she is going to check my RF factors along with the other blood testing that I have done every 3 months. She is also sending a referral so I can get an appt. with a rheumatologist. Hopefully soon I can find out what is going on and causing these symptoms. I'm so tired of feeling like I have the flu all the time!!! Also, it turns out that rheumatoid arthritis can mimic the heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis--I was recently told I have plantar fasciitis, just last month. I find this out after I have spent $300, out of pocket, on custom made orthotics that have not helped me at all!! Ok, that's it, that's all I got for now. I hope each of you, as you are getting up to start your Saturday morning, find yourselves 100% pain free :-)
  • kristikkkristik Posts: 11
    edited 11/23/2013 - 7:36 PM
    Good to hear from u but sry u still have no answers! Im still on a mission myself to find answers for all these stange achey symptoms! Just a thought but do u get steroid injections? Ive read on sum of the other post of that being a possible side effect to steroid injections. I've also heard as silly as it sounds diet soda can cause ur joints to ach and have "flu symptoms" idk like I said im still on the mission myself! Have an appointment with my pm doctor Dec 2nd and im goin in armed with a booklet of questions...so we'll see!
    Nm I just reread ur first post and see that u have had the SI..so yes I really am starting to think these symptoms can be contributed to these injections but who really knows..
  • Hiya...so, I would get flu like symptoms while taking Tramadol for pain. Needless to say, I don't take that any further.
    -Ti man
    -Ti man

    C5-C6 Fused, Syrinx from C4-C7, Bilateral SI joints are fused from car accident using iFuse by SI Bone
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    All my blood work came back normal forever. I had had it with the way i had felt for over a year. The doc did a bone scan and the lumbar area lit up like a christmas tree. Infection. Then biopsy to determine what type which was strep a.
    If you truly feel like something is wrong dont give up
  • I have been having the flu-like symptoms for almost a year now, just haven't felt well in such a long time. Feeling tired, run down regardless of how much sleep I get or don't get. I have several dr's that I see very regularly, from my PCP, GI, endocrinologist, dietician (I just recently got my weight back up to a normal weight after loosing 43 pounds from a severe pancreas attack that lasted well over a year--my clothes fit again!!) I have a PM dr. and now I have a...... rheumatologist.

    As, jlrfrye said If you truly feel that there is something wrong, don't give up!! You know your body better than anyone does. Your drs only have an allotted amount of time to see you, maybe 15-20 minutes but you are with yourself 24/7, you know when something just isn't right. I knew this about myself. I knew spiking a high fever out of nowhere and instant body aches that rendered me immobile for hours was not normal!! I spoke with all my dr's about this and it was actually my GI dr that mentioned rheumatoid arthritis...Back to my pcp for yet another check up and a referral to a rheumatologist....I saw my rheumatologist Monday afternoon, she gave me a thorough check up, checked all my joints, skin, eyes, asked me a thousand questions about how I had been feeling and then sent me to the lab for blood work, which turned out to be an adventure in itself--I have so much scar tissue in my veins from multiple IV's, from all the pancreas attacks, it is hard to find a vein in my arms or hands to draw blood from, another *perk* of having chronic pancreatitis.

    Long story short, the rheumatologist was positive from the exam and answered questions that I have rheumatoid arthritis, which would explain ALL my symptoms--including the feeling of being run over by a semi and suffering flu like symptoms w/high fevers. She also said that she would not be surprised to find lupus as well, as the two somehow can go together and can be called overlap syndrome. She went ahead and started me on prednisone 50mg once a day....I'm looking forward to the energy and pain relief she says it will provide me. She is expecting to have all my blood work back by this Friday and says she will call me with all my results. I am scheduled to go back and see her in 4 weeks to discuss further treatment.

    If you feel something is not right with your health, then don't stop until you have the answers that you need. If all this turns out not to be rheumatoid arthritis/lupus I will continue seeing my dr.s until something makes sense. Spiking a high fever with all over body aches within 10 minutes of feeling well just isn't normal.
  • Yep, all the time, except it's more like a cold than a dose of the flu. I've had 6 surgeries on my spine, live on pain meds and don't do a lot. I find that if I miss an opiate, I start getting withdrawals. It's a 2 edged sword for me. Need the pain meds to move and now I'm an addict. Oh well. At least I'm still kicking!
    More titanium steel in me than a modern car.....
  • I don't know if any of you ever found out what was causing your flu symptoms but I did, I got my confirmed diagnosis yesterday. The reason for the fevers, flu symptoms, aches and all over body pain is caused, in my case, by rheumatoid arthritis and sjogrens syndrome. My RA factor came back in the positive range and my lip biopsy for sjogrens was positive.

    Most of my joints are affected by this, except for at the moment, my knees. My right hip is the latest joint to become affected. I have been taking prednisone for almost 2 months which has been working but, unfortunately, due to all the side effects I'm experiencing with it we have had to begin the process of weaning me off of it.

    If any of you are still experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be something you could talk to your dr about and have him/her refer you to a rheumatologist and get checked.

    Anyway, that's all I have on the subject for now, if I find out anything new I will post in case it can help one of you out. :-)

    @Rob, I'm sorry you are having such a hard time and experiencing some unpleasant symptoms. I would not call you an addict by any means--there is a huge difference in an addict and someone who needs the medications to have a normal life. As far as not doing a lot, maybe you should at least try walking. It helps the spine as well as the mood :-) Take care, sweetie, I hope you are having some great days since you posted here.
  • Taren your post sounded so familiar. I was diagnosed with RA in 2003. I take medication for pain only right now. How did the prednisone cause problems? The reason I'm asking is I'm going to another Rheumatologist soon and they will probably want me to start it. Thanks!
  • meg75mmeg75 Posts: 1
    edited 11/03/2015 - 5:54 PM
    your symptoms sound like lyme disease. Please look into it. You would have chronic lyme and honestly mainstream med (infections disease, rheumatoid or lupus dr) Lyme can mimic many different disease and conditions, its the master imitator. It can imitate fibro, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis.. so many illness.
    you would need to find a specialized dr?
    what state do you live in?
    are you in a lyme epidemic area?

    There are no medical professionals on the forum side of this site. Therefore everything you read is based on the personal experiences and/or research done by the individual member. Comments should never be taken as pure medical facts. You need to discuss this with your doctor. They are the only ones that can provide you with detailed information about you, the patient.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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  • I was diagnosed with Lyme's Disease in 1995. My quality of life has been in a downward spiral since then. I ran fever steadily for 34 days, had aches, pains, flu like symptoms, and was extremely weak. Even after several months of antibiotics, the disease had taken its toll on my body. My legs, and joints began hurting daily. I went through years of pain because I couldn't afford to take off work or pay for a doctor. Finally in 2003 I'd had enough, and began searching for a doctor. I had no idea at the time how difficult it was going to be finding a doctor that would take the time to listen to me, or help me. I had every test imaginable, including blood work. One Rheumatologist even sent me to a Psychiatrist thinking my pain was in my head. I had an ECG that showed nerve damage in my feet, lower legs, hands, forearms, torso front & back. When the doctor wouldn't prescribe anything but Darvocet for my pain, I left his office in tears. How was I going to live like this? My doctor search continued and finally I ended up at the MD Clinic in 2005. My doctor diagnosed me with Idiopathic Small Fiber Neuropathy, Chronic Lymes Disease, and Fibromyalgia. I've been on disability since 2006. I'm currently trying to maintain some quality of life, because I've had custody of my 5 year old grandson since he was 6 months old. My pain management doctor has prescribed Morphine ER 30mg every 12 hours, and Oxycodone 15mg every 8 hours. I'm also taking Lyrica & Effexor for my Fibromyalgia. My oxycodone wears off about 4 hours before my next dose. I've hesitated telling him because I don't want him to increase the Morphine because it makes me so sleepy. I can only take it at night because I'm raising a small child that need my attention. How do I approach him about increasing the Oxycodone? It doesn't make me sleepy, and does a decent job with my pain. I feel like a cow in a cattle shute at the pain management clinic. I've overheard other patient's in the waiting room talking about the meds their on. The exact same as mine, go figure.
    So here I am, 20 years later, diagnosed, but still in a lot of pain. My advice to anyone? Keep your chin up & don't quit until you have the answers you need, and a doctor that respects you as his patient.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    If I understand correctly, doctor has you on morphine twice a day, but you only take it at night?

    Your doctor needs full information about compliance with meds and why. I totally understand your hesitancy and wanting to be fully alert while caring for young one.

    I think you explained it clearly here, so to tell doctor same, he could prescribe what would work better for you and your caregiving lifestyle.

    Personally, I would not ask for increase of any med. I explain situation and see what he comes up with.
    But to ask a question re if he thinks increase med would help..is just a question.
    He then would explain the whys or why nots of increasing particular med.
    Hope that made sense.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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