New Delhi: A leading private hospital in Delhi on Saturday claimed that joint pain and backache were the most common problems reported among post-COVID patients at its orthopaedic department.

Even after recovering from the coronavirus infection, a large number of people are struggling with post-COVID complications, ranging from weakness to hair fall and skin complications.

According to Dr Vishal Nigam, orthopedic and spine surgeon at the Moolchand Hospital, “Back pain and joint pain after COVID-19 have been the most common presentation in orthopaedic clinics. Almost 15 per cent patients present with joint pains or arthralgia, and 45 per cent patients present with muscle pains or myalgia”.

Joint pain can be temporary or can last longer, he said.

One of the wrong steps that post-COVID patients take is to try to get back to normal routine quickly despite weakness. This leads to injury rather than recovery. Exercises and routines should be progressed gradually, respecting the fact that body is weak and needs time to regenerate, doctors said.

“Post-covid fatigue leads to tiredness and prevents resumption of normal activities,” Nigam said.

Aging causes joint and spinal disorders which are medically called as degeneration of joints and discs. Till one is active and fit, this degeneration may not cause symptoms. But if muscle weakness due to a disease causes loss of fitness, then this degeneration causes joint pains. These temporary joint pains improve as fitness and activity returns to normal gradually, he added.

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“More serious and longer-lasting joint pains could be reactive arthritis. Similar to inflammatory response that damages lungs, cytokines also damage joint capsule. It is commonly seen in other viral diseases like chikungunya and is also occasionally seen in coronavirus infection,” the doctor said.

Pains in this condition are associated with joint swelling, and are more severe and long-lasting. Such pains increase after a period of inactivity, like getting up from bed in morning, he added.

The number of cumulative cases of COVID-19 on Friday stood at 14,35,419 in Delhi. Over 14 lakh patients have recovered from the virus.

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