Today’s episode is entitled “Coronavirus vaccine and back pain / sciatica” and the topics covered are:

  • Inflammation in back pain / sciatica
  • Threat of the vaccine
  • Activity and back pain / sciatica
  • What to do after the vaccine
  • How to mitigate against the vaccine

How can the vaccine trigger a flare up on your back pain / sciatica, and also what you can do to mitigate against that possible risk.

Inflammation in back pain / sciatica

Inflammation is a normal and desired response to the vaccine. We’re trying to get your immune system to do something. By introducing an antigen or something that your body is going to maintain an immune response to you also, you don’t just get a kind of very specific targeted response to the antigen. You get general turning on of the immune system. Part of that is an inflammatory response. You’ll get it more strongly where the vaccine goes (the upper arm), but you also get a generalized inflammatory response. With the vaccine you get more inflammation, irritation to the nerve and therefore more back pain / sciatica.

Threat of the vaccine

The amount of pain you experience is more directly correlated with the amount of threat that you feel than it is to the amount of damage that you have. Particularly for recurring pain, threat is much more likely to increase your pain than if you like the degree of damage that you have, because with long-term chronic problems, the damage is usually healed long ago, or at least as much as it was going to heal.

Many people worry about having the vaccine. If you are worried, that threat turns the volume up on your back pain / sciatica. If you feel threatened by the vaccine, you’re likely to experience more back pain / sciatica.

Activity and back pain / sciatica

Inactivity can increase your pain levels. Movement will reduce your pain. Any movement you can do that would normally not result in an increase in your pain is a good thing. Inversely, if you’ve had the vaccine, you’ve decided to have an easy day and do less physically, that may lead to more back pain / sciatica.

What to do after the vaccine

If you’ve had a vaccine and you’ve experienced an increase in your pain, you may become more fearful and tense up and rein back on all sorts of activities. A lot of sitting tends to aggravate pain. What you do next is really very influential in that it is one of the mechanisms by which having a vaccine can lead to more back pain / sciatica.

How to mitigate against the vaccine

You can suppress the inflammatory response, but try not to fret about it. Don’t worry about the fact that your pain increases. Maintain your normal activity levels as close as you can. If you’re particularly concerned, reach out to us. We’re always here to help. There’s always a free assessment that you can take at If you want a personalized approach to your back pain / sciatica, you can get the free functional assessment at

If you’d like a free online assessment of lower back pain / sciatica, click the link.