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Papers: 23 Jul 2022 - 29 Jul 2022

2022 Jul 21

J Pain

Symptomatic but not Asymptomatic COVID-19 Impairs Conditioned Pain Modulation in Young Adults.


Peterson JA, Bemben MG, Larson RD, Pereira H, Crowson MH, Black CD
J Pain. 2022 Jul 21.
PMID: 35872293.


Pain is a common symptom reported in COVID-19 patients. Impaired endogenous pain-modulatory mechanisms such as conditioned pain modulation (CPM), and exercise-induced hypoalgesia (EIH) have been found in chronic pain conditions but is often overlooked in acute conditions that evoke painful symptoms, such as COVID-19. The purpose was to compare pressure-pain sensitivity, CPM, and EIH function among individuals who previously had COVID-19, both symptomatically and asymptomatically, and a healthy control group. Pressure pain thresholds of 59 participants were assessed in the forearm and leg using a pressure algometer before and after 1) submersion of their dominant foot in cold water (2°C) for 1min; and 2) isometric knee extension performed to task-failure at 25% of their maximal contraction. The CPM response was attenuated in individuals who were infected with symptomatic COVID-19 (N=26) compared to asymptomatic COVID-19 (N=13) in arm (-1.0%±20.3 vs 33.3%±26.2; P<0.001) and leg (12.8%±22.0 vs 33.8%±28.2; P=0.014) and compared to controls (N=20) in arm only (-1.0%±26.2 vs 23.4%±28.2; P=0.004).  The EIH response was not different between groups. CPM was impaired in individuals who had symptomatic COVID-19, which may have long-term implications on pain modulation.