Living with Increased Joint Pain After COVID
Although many strides have been made in furthering our understanding of the mechanism of the novel Coronavirus, much about its extensive impact in the body and the potential for long-term effects has yet to be clarified. One widely accepted fact is the powerful systemic inflammation triggered by the virus, and some in recovery have reported lingering muscle aches and even lasting joint pain. Can Covid-19 increase joint pain, and how can it be treated?
The Aches and Pains of a Virus
Both Covid and the flu are respiratory illnesses, but although they are caused by different viruses, one thing they have in common is the potential to cause muscle pain and body aches. This intense discomfort is an unfortunate side effect of a strong immune response; when a virus like Covid spreads through the body, the immune system sends white blood cells to fight the infection, resulting in inflammation that can leave muscles feeling sore and stiff. In most cases, this aching will diminish as health improves, but in the case of a Covid-19 infection, intense immune reactions can actually trigger or perpetuate an inflammatory joint condition.
Lighting the Match
So many of the effects of this illness are still being determined and studied, but already, papers like the one published in the January 2021 Lancet Journal of Rheumatology have found indications that a viral illness like Covid can act as a trigger for latent or dormant conditions like arthritis or other autoimmune diseases. Joint pain and stiffness may develop because the same cytokines, or small proteins important in cell signaling and regulating inflammation, are very active in both an immune response to the Coronavirus and conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). An important aspect of pain relief and healing is to eliminate inflammation to prevent further damage to joint tissues.
How Can You Treat Viral Arthritis?
While Covid-related joint pain is still being researched and treatment protocol developed, there are a number of methods already available to help find relief and to create an environment in the body to encourage healing:
- Take a Vitamin D3 Supplement. About 42% of the population is deficient in this hormone important for regulating both joint health and immune responses, so check with your primary physician to see if it’s needed.
- Add more Anti-Inflammatory foods to your plate, including spinach, berries, nuts, seeds, and avocados, and regularly cook with cooling spices like Turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant.
- Get Help with Pain Relief. Chronic pain can negatively impact mental health, because pain and emotions circuits overlap in the brain. Negative emotions will ultimately compromise healthy immune responses, possibly prolonging illness, irritation, and dysfunction.
Are You Experiencing Increased Joint Pain After Covid?
Recovery from a Coronavirus infection can be a long and exhausting process, made much more challenging by the stress of severe and limiting pain. Midwest Anesthesia and Pain Specialist group is committed to treating your pain with care and compassion. Using a comprehensive approach, our medical team will work to provide you with the relief and guidance you need to be informed and empowered on your path to wellness. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!