Body aches and muscle pain in the back, arms or legs are common cold or flu symptoms, according to WebMD. When an individual experiences back pain along with other cold or flu symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, sneezing or cough, it is often due to a cold.
Cold or flu symptoms typically last three to four days; however, complete recovery often takes one to two weeks, according to WebMD. Anti-inflammatory medicine such as aspirin or ibuprofen temporarily relieves back pain associated with a cold. An individual can also apply an ice pack, over a shirt or towel, for up to 20 minutes at a time, claims WebMD.