Post-COVID-19 pain syndrome: a descriptive study in Turkish population

Korean J Pain. 2022 Oct 1;35(4):468-474. doi: 10.3344/kjp.2022.35.4.468.


Background: The new type of corona virus has a wide range of symptoms. Some people who have COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as post-COVID conditions. The authors aimed to investigate prolonged musculoskeletal pain as a symptom of the post-COVID-19 condition.

Methods: This is a descriptive study on the patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 in a university hospital, between March 2020 and March 2021. Patient records and an extensive questionnaire were used to obtain relevant demographic and clinical characteristics, including hospitalization history, comorbidities, smoking history, duration of the pain, the area of pain, and the presence of accompanying neuropathic symptoms.

Results: Of the diagnosed patients, 501 agreed to participate in the study. Among the participants, 318 had musculoskeletal pain during COVID-19 infection, and 69 of them reported prolonged pain symptoms as part of their a post-COVID condition which could not be attributed to any other cause. The mean duration of pain was 4.38 ± 1.73 months, and the mean pain level was 7.2 ± 4.3. Neuropathic pain symptoms such as burning sensation (n = 16, 23.2%), numbness (n = 15, 21.7%), tingling (n = 10, 14.5%), stinging (n = 4, 5.8%), freezing (n = 1, 1.4%) were accompanied in patients with prolonged musculoskeletal pain.

Conclusions: Patients with COVID-19 may develop prolonged musculoskeletal pain. In some patients, neuropathic pain accompanies it. Awareness of prolonged post-COVID-19 pain is crucial for its early detection and management.

Keywords: COVID-19; Chronic Pain; Complications; Musculoskeletal Pain; Neuralgia; Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome; Post-Infectious Disorders; Survey and Questionnaires..