COVID-19 can be a devastating disease, and we have yet to fully understand the complete impact of COVID-19. Besides the disease itself, many recovering patients face long-lasting symptoms after the infections. Long-term effects can also extend to mental health, including depression, confusion, disorganization, anger problems, and PTSD.
According to UW Health, one of the latest long-lasting symptoms caused by the virus appears to be chronic pain. What is chronic pain? It is a condition that causes constant, heavy pain in a particular area. It is limited to a particular area or muscle group for some people, and they experience constant pain there. For others, it is throughout their entire body, and they experience moderate to severe headaches, fatigue, sensitivity to touch, burning feelings in their joints, and other signs and symptoms of chronic pain.
Chronic pain started being analysed as a COVID-19 symptom after many hospitalized COVID-19 patients began to report it. According to UW Health, around 50% of their patients experienced chronic pain after the recovery, and it is estimated that they will continue to feel pain for at least half of year after. Research revealed that this symptom was common from cases from other clinics as well. The most common types of pain were chest pain and headaches.
“We had a suspicion that cases of chronic pain might be something more systemic, not just a collection of cases at our clinic, so we scoured the internet looking for any substantiated data, and we discovered that this and, to a lesser extent, other types of pain like testicular pain, appear to be a long-lasting symptom of a COVID-19 infection,” explained Dr. Alaa Abd-Elsayed, medical director at the Pain Management Clinic, UW Health and anesthesiology professor at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.