Does COVID-19 Affect Chronic Pain?
The COVID-19 pandemic has created no shortage of questions and concerns about how we live our lives. Can a chronic pain condition increase the risk of getting COVID? Does COVID make chronic pain worse? Could my pain treatment interfere with my COVID test results or vaccine? We have answered these questions and more to keep you informed and give you peace of mind during these uncertain times.
Can COVID-19 have an impact on chronic pain conditions?
In a way, yes it can. While COVID-19 will not directly make the effects of a specific pain condition more severe, the virus is nonetheless a stressor on the body, and one of the symptoms is body aches and pain. This new pain, when added to existing chronic pain, can result in increased overall pain and discomfort.
Do chronic pain conditions increase the risk of COVID-19 complications?
No, they do not. COVID-19 complications are generally associated with preexisting respiratory and heart conditions. While chronic pain conditions can make COVID-19 that much more uncomfortable of an experience, they do not increase your risk of COVID complications.
Can my pain management treatment impact COVID-19 test results?
No, there are no chronic pain treatments or therapies that can have an impact on the accuracy of COVID-19 test results. A friendly reminder, if you have any reason to believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested as soon as you are able. Click the following link for COVID-19 testing resources:
Can my pain management treatment impact my ability to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
We recommend that you do not get a steroid injection within 14 days before or after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Steroids can temporarily decrease the body’s immune response which may potentially result in decreased effectiveness of the vaccine. However, there is no risk of bodily harm in this circumstance. If you find yourself in a situation where it is difficult to space the vaccine and steroid injection 14 days apart, contact your pain provider to discuss options.
Other than this, there are no pain management treatments that impact the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Twin Cities Pain Clinic highly recommends you receive the vaccination as soon as you are able. Click the following link for COVID-19 vaccine resources:
Is it safe for me to begin or continue chronic pain treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Absolutely, yes. We highly recommend that you do not delay your chronic pain treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you are already receiving treatment or about to start a treatment regimen, you will have the best results and most prompt relief if you proceed as planned. Just make sure you have double checked that your pain management provider has implemented adequate health and safety protocols.
At Twin Cities Pain Clinic, we have put comprehensive measures in place to ensure a safe environment for our patients and staff. You may review our safety plan by clicking the link below:
However, it is understandable if you still feel a bit unsure about an in-clinic visit at this time. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare providers are now offering telemedicine virtual visits.
Telemedicine allows you to visit with your healthcare provider from home, using a computer or mobile device. If you do not feel ready for an in-person visit, contact your pain management provider to ask about telemedicine.
Twin Cities Pain Clinic is proud to offer patients access to telemedicine virtual visits. Click the following link to learn more about our telemedicine program:
The COVID-19 pandemic has created countless questions and uncertainties for everyone, including chronic pain sufferers. And while COVID won’t directly affect your specific chronic pain condition, it can certainly make it that much harder to live with.
One of the best way to stay safe and healthy is to stay informed. So, be sure to do your research and speak with your healthcare provider about any questions you have regarding your personal health and treatment options.