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COVID-19 and Pain

Although COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease, acute pain is a common symptom of COVID-19. Read more to discover how COVID-19 directly affects pain.

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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an illness caused by the coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2) that can trigger a respiratory infection and is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person. Like most viral infections, pain is a common symptom of COVID-19, with many patients experiencing headaches, sore throats, and myalgia or muscle pain. COVID-19 also increases the risk of developing chronic neuropathic pain, back and neck pain, orofacial pain, and musculoskeletal pain. Additionally, COVID-19 has been found to exacerbate pre-existing chronic pain conditions.

Learn More About COVID-19 and Pain

Resources to Learn about COVID-19 and Pain

Although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people continue to experience post-COVID conditions months after first being diagnosed. People with this condition are sometimes called “long-haulers.”  This condition is known as “long COVID." Experts are still determining which types of medications or treatments can help to relieve the effects of post-COVID conditions. 

The International Association for the Study of Pain offers a virtual series to help you learn more about COVID-19 and Pain. The series is broken down into two parts and both are available on-demand as a free resource. Additionally, IASP's online, open access, multidisciplinary journal published a special issue on COVID-19 and Pain in May 2021. Read a collection of peer-reviewed articles examining multiple aspects of pain related to COVID- 19 from this issue below.

Lars Arendt-Nielsen
Meet the Expert

Meet COVID-19 and Pain Expert, Dr. Lars Arendt-Nielsen

The International Association for the Study of Pain greatly appreciates Lars Arendt-Nielsen, Dr. Med., PhD, IASP’s Past President and creator and co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Pain, for serving as the subject matter expert and content curator of this topic page.


IASP is making an impact on COVID-19 and Pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain is making an impact on the study of COVID-19 and pain. IASP created the COVID-19 and Pain Presidential Task Force to collect, coordinate, and provide timely information to IASP members and patients on the possible impact of Covid-19 in relation to pain.

IASP also offers a free, virtual series on COVID-19 and Pain with the featuring the most current scientific research on the topic.

You, too, can make an impact on COVID-19 and pain by joining IASP today!