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Can COVID-19 make your pain worse?

The U.S has had over 50 million cases and more than 800 thousand deaths at the time of writing this blog with the omicron variant just emerging now. 

SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause longer term symptoms:

According to the CDC Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, pins and needles feeling, headaches are common pain related conditions in this syndrome. 

Mayo clinic talks about "long haulers" who are not just experiencing respiratory issues but several of the above mentioned symptoms. 

People who have severe symptoms of COVID-19 often have to be treated in a hospital's intensive care unit, with mechanical assistance such as ventilators to breathe. Simply surviving this experience can make a person more likely to later develop post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), depression and anxiety.  They are also at a high risk for a combination of critical illness myopathy (CIM), critical illness polyneuropathy (CIN), and muscle atrophy. The families of these patients also go through tremendous stress.

In folks, who were already suffering with chronic pain; physical, mental, emotional, financial, or disrupted family routine stressors directly and negatively affected their pain and function. 

Potential pathological mechanisms include coronavirus-induced neurologic and muscular dysfunctions from lack of proper tissue oxygenation (hypoxia) as well as psychological stress triggering pain receptors.

Patient have nerve dysfunction after critical illness with abnormalities in nerve conduction studies up to 5 yr after ICU discharge, a study shows

Emerging reports from Wuhan, which is now operating several rehabilitation institutions for COVID-19 survivors, and Italy indicate a significant symptom burden in COVID-19 survivors including anxiety, sleep disorders, fatigue, limited exercise tolerance, and memory and executive function impairment. All of these, are already known factors which are strongly associated with chronic pain conditions. 

Early detection, treatment and rehabilitation is likely to improve outcomes. Treatments including medications, physical therapy and minimally invasive procedures such as trigger point injections, nerve blocks and regenerative therapies may help.  

If you or someone you love is suffering from pain symptoms after COVID-19 infection which is affecting their sleep, day to day function and quality of life, contact Texas Pain Intervention Clinic. We can help!

Dr. Maheshwari offers unique perspectives and customized treatments for pain Ankit Maheshwari MD Founder of Texas Pain Intervention Clinic, Dr. Maheshwari is a highly experienced Interventional Pain Management Specialist who offers a wide variety of pain treatments. Read more about Dr. Maheshwari in the 'Meet Dr. Maheshwari' section on the website.

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