Are Allergies the Cause of My Body Aches & Pains?

Allergies, Aches, & Pains

Are allergies the cause of my body aches and pains? Don’t allergies just mean that I have a runny nose, watery eyes, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and a sore throat? No! While those are the outward symptoms, we often see let me be the first to tell you that your allergies could actual be the cause of most of your health issues. You can even have allergy issues without having the normal symptoms we just listed.

In this article we will dive into a lot of different symptoms you might be having due to seasonal allergies, food allergies, or really any other type of Allergy. In general allergy sufferers this article is for you!

Seasonal Allergies

If you have the typical allergy symptoms, you begin to dread the times of the year in which your seasonal allergies flare up. You’re miserable on a completely different level. While it’s easy to focus on the traditional symptoms of allergies, have you looked to see when your allergies flare up what else is bothering you in your body?

Body Aches

A man holding his low back because it has aches and pains

Body Aches have to be one of the most common symptoms that you’ll notice if you have allergies, outside of the most common symptoms of stuffy nose, dry eyes, etc. It might be slight in the beginning but as your allergies become chronic, you’ll also start having chronic pain.

If you haven’t picked up on the body aches and pains yet, have you noticed that you have an ache neck or neck pain in general? Neck pain tends to be one of the first areas that hurts. This makes sense though, because when your allergies flare up your sinuses begin to clog. When your sinuses clog you will develop first sinus pressure and then if left untreated a sinus infection. This is an issue because some of those facial muscles and even eye muscles play a part into the neck muscles. As your condition progresses, you’ll start experiencing back pain as well, and in more severe cases you will begin to have muscle spasms. The question we should ask ourselves though is why?

Inflammatory Response

Any time you have an allergic response whether severe allergic reactions or mild allergic reactions, you will begin to release histamine, immunoglobulin e (IgE), mast cells and basophils. Histamine is a well-known chemical messenger that is responsible for inducing an inflammatory reaction in the response to an allergen being introduced into the system. The immune system will then start to produce IgE antibodies to protect you. These antibodies will go to the cells in the affected area and will trigger the allergic reaction.

The inflammatory response is needed to protect your body from harm. However, when your body’s immune system is constantly reacting to allergens, the intended temporary response becomes chronic. This will start to cause more internal issues, and this is when it becomes a more severe issue that needs to be addressed.

The Common Allergens

We’ll discuss some of the main culprits to typical allergies, but keep in mind that if you have a high exposure to something in your area then that is going to be a good probable cause of your allergies!


High Pollen counts are going to pretty much effect everyone. We need pollen in the world to help germinate plants but because there are so many plants we have constant exposure. With constant exposure to anything the body becomes sensitive to the substance. When the immune response becomes overactive it will then target the pollen and trigger allergic reactions. Due to this, pollen has become one of the largest culprits to causing an allergic condition.

Animal Dander
Cute pets laying on the ground looking up. The animal dander from them can lead to body aches and pains

Forbes stated that as of 2023 66% of household own some type of animal. This is fantastic because they are great stress relievers and amazing companions. However, that dander of theirs can be damaging if we are allergic. Our pets share our environment, so their dander is constantly circulating the house. Again, long term exposure to anything will become a sensitivity or allergy when given the ideal opportunity in the body.

Insect Stings & Bites

These fortunately don’t happen all the time but when they do OUCH! We need to remember that insects that sting or bite us are doing so because they feel threatened. Their sting or bite has chemical components intended to cause harm. When the immune system feels threatened it will send down the histamine and IgE antibodies to go fight for you. We don’t really know why some people react severely and others don’t, but often after the first exposure each additional exposure with stings and bites becomes worse.

Mold Spores

Mold hasn’t been a known allergy for long. However, as blood tests are becoming more accurate we are seeing that a lot of people are actually allergic to mold. Depending on your area mold allergies will only be present the time of the year that has a lot of moisture. If you live in a place like Texas these times are very far and few between. However, if you live in a place like Florida, it’s moisture is all year around, so you have a greater risk of developing a mold allergy.

Dust Mites
Multiple dust mites on a surface. Dust mites are a big factor to most allergies and can lead to a lot of aches and pains.

It doesn’t really matter where you live. You are going to get exposed to dust. If you live in a place like I do, and you have frequent dust storms you will be at a greater risk. The good news is you can keep your area clean and invest in a good home purification system and this will greatly help.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are becoming more and more common! There are some studies that suggest GMO and chemicals used in majority of the foods is likely the cause of this. We also need to look at the number of preservatives and chemicals used in foods. Now that the FDA has cleared bioengineered foods, we’ll probably even see a bigger increase in food allergies. In the United States specifically it is getting increasingly hard to find good healthy food. Switching to organic food and staying away from packaged food is one of the best ways you can avoid developing food allergies. Doing a food diary and determining your trigger foods will help your allergies calm down the most.

Health conditions hat may be from allergies

As we mentioned earlier not everyone has the usual allergy symptoms. Often times the usual allergy symptoms are less frustrating because your healthcare provider quickly picks up on it and places you on an antihistamine blocker or some type of allergy medication to slow the symptoms.

Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever

These conditions are aka’s for one another. The typical symptoms include runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure.

Chest Pain
A young woman holding her chest because of pain. A lot of allergies will irritate the ribs and surrounding tissues and can cause chest pains.

If you are having chest pain first you need to see your medical doctor and follow his medical advice. If they determine that you aren’t having actual heart issues, then it is very common for chest pain to come from your allergies.

Chest pain is not as common of a symptom, but the underlying cause is triggered from difficulty breathing. You may not notice this difficulty at first. Often times it actually starts as a slight shortness of breath. One of the most common statements I hear is “doc I don’t know why I just feel like I can’t take a full breath in”. Another more common symptom that can lead to this type of chest pain is the chronic cough from allergies. It’s not a deep cough, but more of a low annoying cough that just never seems to clear up. (If constant coughing is one of your symptoms, you might even look to see if you have acid reflux as that’s one of the most common symptoms).

The more you cough or the shallower your breaths get means that you aren’t fully opening up your chest and ribs while breathing. The brain operates off a you use it or lose it method, so the muscles begin to tighten as the ribs begin to move less then optimal and thus the feeling of chest pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis depends on the specific allergens you are allergic to. An article published in the BMJ Journal noted that the more common allergies don’t increase your risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, some allergic conditions especially coming from pet dander, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis, showed to have a high risk of developing RA. Which means if you have one of these allergies you need to focus on things to help reduce your exposure from developing those allergic conditions.

TMJ Disorder

This is a common disorder that people with chronic allergies develop. Normally this is due to extra pressure and buildup in your sinus cavities (maxillary sinuses and frontal sinuses). There is also a connection that has been observed by many chiropractors that the Atlas can become misaligned in response to allergies. Due to the closeness of the atlas and the jaw when your atlas goes out it will also cause jaw pain. People often ask why there is this association. Traditional Chinese Medicine say that allergies are an indication of congested chi. Congested chi in Chinese medicine typically points at the wood meridian which houses the liver and gallbladder. If you pull up the meridian chart for the gallbladder you will see the points sit both on the atlas and jaw. For the same reason, allergies can also cause a sinus headache or migraine headaches.

Ear Infections
A young baby holding his ear because of pain. Allergies are a large cause of ear infections in children.

Ear infections and allergies go hand in hand. Have you ever noticed that the majority of people who get ear infections are children? This is due to the fact that one they don’t have any antibodies built up to the environment around them, and two due to the fact that the antibody that protects our ear, specifically the middle ear, and other mucous membranes, IgA, is not abundant in the body until approximately two years old. Infants even have it a little harder being that their eustachian tubes are close to a 0-degree angle vs the 35-45 degree angle that adults have. When your allergies flare up, not only can they not fight it off with IgA and IgE antibodies, but they also struggle to drain the fluid out because the tubes become inflamed and that fluid then becomes stuck.

Dry Mouth

This one makes sense for most people if you have a runny or stuffy nose. If you can’t breathe out of your nose you’re going to breathe out of your mouth. Our mouth is not supposed to be our primary breather, so the constant air contact causes the tongue to dry out. The second cause behind this is due to the fact that most people that have allergies take either over the counter medicines or a medication prescribed by their doctor. Unfortunately, these antihistamines greatly help your allergy symptoms but one of the most common side effects is dry mouth. You want to watch out for this! Extended periods of mouth breathing can increase the likelihood of developing cavities and other gum diseases.

Common Cold, Flu, & Other Viruses

A viral infection isn’t an allergy, so why are we talking about them? You’re right! These aren’t allergies but cold symptoms, flu symptoms, and the symptoms from different viruses often have similar symptoms of allergies. If your allergy season happens to be during the winter season you might often confuse those allergy symptoms with symptoms of the flu.

Past that, if you have chronic allergies or winter seasonal allergies you will be more likely to contract a virus. Why you ask? Well, those same protective agents IgE, Histamine, Mast cells and basophils that are trying to protect you from the allergen will over time cause a hit to your immune system. If you are constantly working your immune system then when other agents like a virus or bacterium are introduced, your body is too fatigued to fight it. Often times people with allergies will contract viruses more than those that don’t have allergies.

Low Back Pain & Other body pains

Can allergies cause low back pain? For the most part we’ve covered how allergies can influence your entire body. Whether they are spring allergies, airborne allergens, food allergies, summer allergies, animal allergies etc. doesn’t matter. The types of allergies, as far as pain goes in the body doesn’t make a difference. The mechanism behind what your immune system does is the same.

Georgetown University performed a study that showed 65 million Americans report an incidence of back pain. As a chiropractor I can tell you that the number of patients that come into my office with back pain is a majority. I can also say that the majority of them say “Doc it came on over time I did nothing to cause it.” Of course, we get those that have injuries and a reason for the pain but most don’t. Why is this?

Chinese Medicine

A woman laying on a table getting acupuncture needles placed in her lower back. Traditional Chinese medicine can help to treat body aches and pains.

I mentioned above I co-treat with an acupuncturist and on top of that I am certified in acupuncture. When this phenomenon was brought up in class (back pain with no injury), we were shown how the bladder meridian runs from the eyes, down the entire back, and even down the legs. The bladder and kidney are both located on the water meridian.

Chinese medicine looks at the water meridian as what flows the bodies energy. When it becomes stagnant you can have issues along the entire spine. He stated this is why someone with body pain can roll out that area, get adjusted, get a massage, get acupuncture, use a tens unit, etc. and for most the symptoms decrease. This is due to the fact that you are stimulating the bladder meridian and providing it energy. When your bodies energy is restored to normal levels it allows the brain to communicate to the rest of the body and so miscommunication, in this case pain, is not needed.

If you have chronic muscular pain, severe joint pain, or other severe pain in the body, it means that your body has been suffering with this for a while so unfortunately it will take a bit longer to heal. Don’t give up though! I’ve seen people with tremendous pain get better. It’s just a matter of finding the best treatment plan for you.

My Allergy Trigger

We’ve discussed a lot of the common complaints and medical conditions that can be associated from allergies. Whether your allergies come from environmental irritants, food allergies, or any other foreign allergens you need to learn your allergy trigger so that you can develop the right plan of action for you.

You can now see that there are a lot of ways allergies can present in the body and there are far more than even we discussed. If you are having a symptom in your body that you can’t figure out here’s a few things you can try to determine them.

Primary Care Provider

It is always a good idea to talk to your primary care doctor. In general, it is a great first step in to figuring out what is going on. Often times they will send you to a board-certified allergist who can run an allergy test on you. This often involves a skin prick test to see what your body is reacting to. Your PCP can also do a blood test to see what food allergies you have. You might be surprised that something you use every day and have always seen as harmless substances can be the trigger to all of your problems. While doing these tests can be a bit pricey it lets you know exactly what is going on.

Elimination Diet
Healthy foods placed on a white table. The elimination diet cuts out most of the inflammatory foods in our diet for at least 30 days.

This often is the first step people do at home because it’s the cheapest and pretty telling to what you are sensitive to. There are a lot of different ways you can do this. The most common is to eliminate pretty much everything from your diet for a few weeks and then one by one add an object back in. If you have any type of irritation after adding a food back in then you will need to cut that food out of your diet. Others choose to eliminate one thing at a time for instance dairy for a month and then try adding a small amount in. This option takes longer but is less harsh on the body. I’ll include a layout from The University of Wisonsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Click here for layout.

Skin prick tests, blood tests, and elimination diets are the best options when trying to figure out your allergens. Now that you know your allergens what can you do to treat them?  

Treatment Options

Over the Counter Medications

If you know you suffer from allergies you’ve probably already gone to the store and picked up some Zyrtec or other antihistamine to help. After that you can also go to your PCP and get a prescribed medication that is stronger. While these don’t fix the problem, they definitely help to give you some relief.

Nasal Sprays

If nasal congestion is one of your biggest symptoms often time nasal sprays are a good choice. Most decongestant nasal sprays will shrink the swollen blood vessels and tissues in the nose to help open you up so you can breathe. They do make some all natural nasal sprays. If you can find one with colloidal silver or Oregano, it often can help clear up sinus infections as well.

Neti Pot
A young woman sitting on her floor preparing her neti pot to help relieve her congestion caused by allergies

The Neti pot is becoming much more popular. I personally like these better than the nasal sprays as it helps flush out the nasal passages. You can use a saltwater type solution for your typical flush. If you have an infection I often recommend doing colloidal silver instead. Colloidal Silver is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.

Allergy Shots

I think it is a good idea to try some of the alternative therapies first. However, for people with more severe allergies having your doctor do formulated allergy shots might be a good option for you. They will test to see what you are allergic to and then develop shots that are specific to your allergens. They’ll slowly build up the dosage until your body makes all the necessary antibodies. Once your body is stable and no longer reacting to the allergen then you should no longer require shots. Most people undergo a couple years of care and then are free of reactions. Unfortunately some people remain on allergy shots throughout their life.

Pain Medication

If one of your biggest symptoms is muscle aches and pains whether acute or chronic body aches you are probably needing some assistance with pain relief. Your typical pain relievers are Advil, Tylenol, etc. If your pain is severe enough your doctor can prescribe higher dose medications. They work but over time the medicine will cause more harm than good.

Natural forms of pain relief include things like turmeric, magnesium, Epsom salts, arnica, deep blue, or other pain relief creams. We are fortunate that we have access to alternative pain relief, to use instead of medications that harm the body.

Physical Therapist

If you experience pain all the time and it has gone on for a while that means that now your muscles are going to be weak. Once you have weak muscle your posture changes and flexors become too dominant. This will also lead to more pain. Having a physical therapist work with you can help your pain. Ultimately it won’t fix the allergen problem, but it will help you decrease the aches and pains.

Chiropractic Care
A female chiropractor adjusting a female patient laying on her side. Chiropractic care often helps to relive your body aches and pains

Chiropractic is a great modality to use to help both your aches and pains as well as your allergens. Studies have shown that chiropractic care can help regulate histamine and cortisol levels in the blood. This doesn’t get rid of the allergic disease you have. However, it helps to regulate the hormones that are causing the reaction. As far as the body pain goes it helps to relax the muscles and restore proper function to the joint. This will increase the communication going to the brain which gives a boost to your immune system. It will also activate the bladder meridian to help to regulate the flow of your body’s energy.


NAET is a fantastic technique that was developed to help treat sensitivities and allergies. They use access of the chinese meridians of the body as well as breathing techniques. During this process they have a unique and safe way to expose you to an allergen and then desensitize you from it. I have personally had this done on myself and my family members. It helped my mom get off the majority of her medications for allergies and asthma. Locate a practitioner here.

Neuro Emotional Technique

I am an NET practitioner and can tell you that majority of the allergy problems my patients have will have some type of emotional component. It sounds like hocus pocus but bare with me! Any time you go through an emotional event or trauma your brain’s only job after surviving is to make sure that you aren’t hurt in that manner again.

If you went through a car accident and happened to be eating an egg bite, your brain can then take the trauma and tie that to eggs. Let’s say you were hit by a blue car. Your brain can now see that shade of blue and flare up your nervous system. It’ll say get away there’s danger! The trick part is you were also eating eggs at that time of the accident. Now subconsciously your nervous system can use the color as well as the food as a trigger. Once it flags the food as danger, when you eat eggs your immune system will now start to attack it. This is what initially triggers the allergy from an emotional trigger. In our training we were told that it is such a big issue that we should ALWAYS clear the allergy point first. Locate a practitioner here.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

This works with the bodies energy system. In Chinese Medicine allergies are considered congested energy. As mentioned above often of the liver, gallbladder, and bladder meridians. However, we all experience symptoms differently. They have the ability to evaluate your individual system to determine the most effective treatment for you. Often times TCM care will involve acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Essential Oils
A young woman smelling an essential oil. Some essential oils can help you to open up and breathe easier when you are shut down from allergies.

Breathe and Peppermint are two of my favorite oils to help with allergies. The peppermint helps to open up the bronchioles to allow more air to come in. The breathe oil does this as well but in my opinion is more effective. I’ve watched my cousin’s asthma attack completely go away with doing a couple minutes of breathing using breathe oil.

Home Purifier

Environmental allergies tend to be a big cause to most people’s allergies. Keeping a clean home and then using a home purifier will help to filter these agents out of the air.


There are a wide variety of natural supplements that you can use to help with your allergies. I personally recommend Antronex and Allerplex from Standard Process. They are a natural histamine blocker. I have used them for insect bites/stings as well as for my common allergies. I have an over reaction to wasp stings, so I always have Antronex on hand just in case. If I get stung it is one of the first things I grab.


As you can see there are a lot of potential causes to your specific allergies. They can present different in different people, and they can lead to more severe and chronic health issues. When working with allergies it is always advised to check with your PCP before trying anything new. Allergies can be serious if you ever experience severe symptoms dealing with the respiratory system, please seek medical care immediately. Anaphylactic shock is incredibly serious and can be fatal.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding about allergies and the damage they can do to the body. Allergies cause so many more problems than just the stuffy nose, sore throat, etc. They honestly can cause far more than we even covered in this blog. Regardless of your symptoms I’d try looking into your allergies! What do you have to lose?

You can also take a look at Are Allergies the Cause of My Dry Eyes for even more information on allergies.

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