The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added muscle/joint pain to its list of COVID-19 symptoms in April 2020. However, COVID-19 isn’t the only cause of joint or muscle pain. Varied factors like influenza, chronic illness, and injuries can also lead to muscle or joint pain (arthralgia).
Here’s what you should know about muscle pain associated with COVID-19 and what to do about it.
STATUS OF MUSCULOSKELETAL CONDITIONS
According to the 2016 Global Burden of Disease Study, the global burden of painful musculoskeletal conditions ranges from 20-32%. COVID-19 has further increased the burden. COVID-19 has affected the respiratory tract and the musculoskeletal system, causing muscle pain, joint pain, restricted range of motion, joint stiffness, and fatigue. These symptoms persist for months, thereby reducing the quality of life.
People continue to suffer from these musculoskeletal problems even after recovery from COVID-19 infection. Do you know why? Here’s the reason!
HOW COVID-19 AFFECTS THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM
The systemic inflammatory response to COVID-19 infection affects the musculoskeletal system. The inflammatory molecules break the muscle fibre protein, reduce muscle protein synthesis, and weaken bones and muscles. For arthritis patients, it also leads to cartilage damage which might worsen the condition post-COVID-19.
WHAT DOES MUSCLE PAIN FROM COVID-19 FEEL LIKE?
At times, it will be difficult to distinguish between virus-induced muscle pain and exercise-induced muscle pain. Both these pains differ in type and duration.
COVID-induced muscle pain feels like pain during movements and tenderness while touching the muscle. It is more generalised, whereas; exercise or injury-induced pain remains more localised.
Regarding duration, COVID-induced muscle pain takes weeks to months to resolve completely, even after you get rid of the COVID-19 infection. However, exercise-induced muscle pain resolves within 48-72 hours.
Usually, in COVID-19 infection, people experience more muscle pain than in joints. However, if you have arthritis, COVID-19 might worsen the symptoms.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO GET RID OF JOINT/MUSCLE PAIN?
It is highly recommended to get diagnosed early to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission. Muscle pain caused by a viral infection or COVID-19 is best treated with fluid hydration, bed rest and pain relievers like paracetamol or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or aspirin if required to manage general symptoms. However, always seek professional medical advice if you don’t feel relief from the above recommendations.
Consider regenerative medicine to tackle arthritis symptoms. Regenerative treatments provide natural and lasting pain relief with an improved range of motion without any significant side effects. Contact Medica Pain Management Clinic to determine whether regenerative medicine would benefit you. Visit Medica Pain Management Clinic in Dublin, Mullingar, London, Ahmedabad and Surat for direct consultation.
Take very good care of our joints and muscles, and find ways that do not degrade them!