Flu Related Calf Muscle Pain

Updated June 13, 2017

Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that can also lead to muscle pain in the calves and other body parts. The pain may be caused by inflammation, spasm, or cramps in the muscles.


The flu virus affects connective tissues throughout your body, including your calf muscles. If you have vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, excessive perspiration, and/or chills, it's easy to develop a low sodium level known as hyponatremia.


When the virus causes inflammation in your calf muscles, you'll feel muscle aches. If the muscle fibres go into spasm and get stronger, you'll have muscle cramps. The low sodium level from hyponatremia can also cause cramping.


Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can relieve muscle aches. You can also try a heating pad or take a warm bath to help relax your calf muscles.


Be proactive to prevent pain in your calves. You'll be less likely to develop hyponatremia if you take OTC drugs like acetaminophen for fever and drink beverages containing sodium, such broth or sports drinks.


Hyponatremia is a life-threatening condition that can quickly lead to confusion, hallucinations, convulsions, and coma. Get medical attention immediately if you see those symptoms developing.

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About the Author

Sandy Keefe, M.S.N., R.N., has been a freelance writer for over five years. Her articles have appeared in numerous health-related magazines, including "Advance for Nurses" and "Advance for Long-Term Care Management." She has written short stories in anthologies such as "A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs."