As the number of Covid cases are on a decline, many of patients who had diagnosed or subclinical Covid 19 symptoms 3-6 weeks ago; are now reporting to Orthopedic clinics with generalized body ache, fatigue, and joint pains.
The age spectrum varies from young individuals in 30-45 yr age group to senior citizens above 60 yr who reported a new onset or worsening of their joint pain. A lot many of them visiting Orthopaedic doctors are opting for blood tests to check vitamin D levels & Arthritis check. A common trend is patients taking pain- killers or anti-inflammatory medications based on old prescriptions.
“ Self- medication is a worrying trend; We have seen patients reporting to us after taking 2-3 weeks of pain killers. We are strongly discouraging patients from experimentation. They must seek a Doctor’s advice,” says Dr Anurag Awasthi, Orthopedic Specialist in Gurgaon.
As Covid 19 is affecting our immune system, it directly can produce Inflammtory arthritis which may not show any laboratory proven evidence, except raised ESR & CRP (acute phase markers of inflammation). Secondly, steroids which have been frequently used to counter Cytokine storm is itself known to aggravate Steroid induced Osteoporosis. This coupled with absence of outdoor movements, lack of exercises will interfere with Calcium homeostasis in our musculoskeletal system.
“ Most patients presenting to us with joint pain or arthralgia, have inflammatory arthritis coupled with Vitamin D deficiency. We advocate vitamin supplementation & advise to delay sports activity or intensive gym workout for a few weeks till symptoms abate”, said Dr Awasthi, Orthopaedic Doctor in Gurgaon
A word of caution to all patients experiencing Joint Pain or body ache after recovering from Covid infection or covid like illness—
- Avoid Strenuous Workout for 6-8 weeks.
- Start with 20- 30 minutes of brisk walk
- Start mild sports activity or jogging / swimming after 2 weeks of Step 2
- Engage in Contact Sports or Intensive Gym workout only after you do not experience shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing with jogging / mild sports activity for at least 3 weeks.
- Adequate intake of Calcium, Vitamin D & Anti-oxidants based on recommendation from your Doctor.
Excerpts from an Interview with Dr Anurag Awasthi, Director- Orthopedic & Joint Surgery- Kimaya Healthcare, Gurgaon, India
Dr. Anurag Awasthi :- www.anuragawasthi.com
Orthopedic Doctor in Gurgaon:- www.anuragawasthi.com
Kimaya Healthcare:- www.kimayahealthcare.com