If the pandemic gives COVID-19as clearly stated by the WHO, has never been so close to being finally defeated, the focus now moves on long-Covid symptoms affecting thousands of citizens. The virus, also thanks to the vaccination campaigns that will be updated on the latest variants in the autumn, almost no longer leads to serious respiratory disease, and even variants such as Centaurus seem in a certain sense ‘flattened’ on Omicron. But the negative effects following the infection can be annoying and last a long time, and it is on this vdrsante that the attention of doctors is focusing.
In the ranking of post Covid effects, pain already covered an important space a year ago: about half of the patients who had the infection had to fight against muscle pain; others have suffered from:
- acute headaches (6-21%),
- chest pain (2-21%),
- eye pain (16%),
- sore throat (5-17%),
- abdominal pain (12%).
But a year after this photograph, on the occasion of the National Congress of Federdolore-Sicd (Italian Society of Pain Clinicians), underway in Bologna until September 18, the president Giuliano De Carolis expresses fears for the near future: “We foresee a possible increase in patients with chronic pain, due to the post-Long Covid effect and relapses. It is necessary to intervene early on the control of the initial painful symptoms “.
“Fortunately – explains the specialist toAdnkronos – we have passed the critical phase in which there were very many patients who declared pain after contagion from the virus. We are now concerned about a wave of post Long Covid effects and a relapse especially in those patients who are not treated effectively and promptly at the onset of the first symptoms. We will have to equip ourselves to have to manage a new post-Long Covid emergency that will see us engaged both with two types of patients: on the one hand those who have had to deal with difficult access to care, on the other those who have developed chronic pain as a consequence of the infection. They are those who have experienced chronic pain even months after the resolution of the infection, which corresponds to about 4% of the most serious Covid patients, that is, those hospitalized or even intubated “.
In the organism it infects, the Sars-CoV-2 virus goes a long way, the pain doctors underline, citing “research based on an important interdisciplinary collaboration of the San Paolo university center” in Milan, which “would explain why the muscles and the resulting pains “. Highlight Tommaso Bocci, researcher of the study born from the collaboration between neurologists, resuscitators and pathologists of the ‘Aldo Ravelli’ Research Center of the State University of the Lombard capital: “The presence of the Sars-CoV-2 virus has been documented not only in the brain control areas of the breath, but in the work, published in the ‘Journal of Neurology’, its path between lung and brain was detected along the vagus nerve that controls various bodily functions. Since the first serious cases of Covid we have observed respiratory changes that were not justifiable only for pneumonia. The study confirmed the presence of the virus in the vagus nerve, which uses the new path of diffusion along the nerve fibers to trigger pain ”.CopyAMP code.
“There are three ways the virus can use to cause pain,” he says Emanuele Piraccini, Pain therapy, Bellaria Ausl Hospital Bologna: “The direct one, the one mediated by inflammation, or as a consequence of the prolongation of the disease. When the inflammatory stimulus continues, there are alterations to the nervous level with a chronicity affecting about 30% of patients. It has also been seen that patients already suffering from chronic pain, if affected by Covid, have had a notable flare-up. Furthermore, the pain during Covid-19 infection has a negative effect on the entire course of the disease: just think that a patient who has chest pain and is unable to cough can accumulate secretions in the lungs and can easily develop infections or pneumonia. “.