Chronic pain observed as long-lasting COVID-19 symptom

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 12:22 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 3:41 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Chronic pain has emerged as a symptom associated with long-lasting cases of COVID-19.

A new UW Health literature review acknowledges that pain -- especially headache and chest pain -- has long been associated with COVID-19 infections throughout the pandemic.

However, medical director Dr. Alaa Abd-Elsayed says that long-lasting chronic pain indicates the virus may impact the human body in ways experts are just starting to understand.

“There seems to be a correlation between the virus and pain that manifests in certain parts of the body,” he said.

The review came after Abd-Elsayed noticed patients at the UW Health Pain Management Clinic reported chronic pain throughout the body as a result of a COVID-19 infection.

UW Health notes that chronic pain was more prevalent in patients who were hospitalized for a COVID-19 infection, particularly if the patient was in an intensive care unit.

Patient age and overall physical condition likely contribute to whether or not a patient experiences chronic pain post-infection, the literature review showed.

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