Joint inflammation and muscle pain after COVID

Posted by chrism @chrism, May 20, 2020

Good morning, my name is Chris. Over the past two months I have experienced moderate joint pain to no excessive pain in my large joints. My primary care physician had ordered a rheumatology panel. I had two areas were inflammation is really over the top high. Why at this time, is unexplained. I have never in my life experienced any joint problems at all! I am 57 years old. I live in central Washington and at this time I am trying to get into Seattle, To see a rheumatologist, which is what my doctor is attempting to do at this time. Mid January my family and I traveled from SeaTac in Seattle Washington to Dallas Fort Worth and back again two weeks later. My son while we were gone, in his 30s, Got very sick with a chest cold and continued to have it when we got home. When I got home I got sick with what I would call A cold. But my cough held on for at least four maybe five weeks. Both of us seem to have no symptoms at all now. Nor do we know whether or not we may have had it? I’m not trying to connect any dots. I’m grasping at straws‘s! I’m on my second round of steroids to calm my joints, and I am scared to death when I am finished with the prescription. Two days after my first round of steroids I could hardly lift One arm and both legs. I’ve got two days left of the second prescription and I have to admit major fear is starting to set in! Has anyone heard of anything scientific, scientific that may link joint inflammation with adults because of Covid?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

Hello @chrism, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I have polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) but it is currently in remission. I can related to the joint pain and inflammation and I think you are asking a good question. I haven't seen any scientific or research type papers but I've seen a few joint inflammation and COVID-19 related articles.

Coronavirus and Arthritis: What You Need to Know — https://www.arthritis.org/about-us/news-and-updates/coronavirus-and-arthritis-what-you-need-to-know
COVID-19 and rheumatoid arthritis: What to know — https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/rheumatoid-arthritis-and-covid-19

Mayo Clinic News Network also has a lot of the latest COVID-19 information – research and other articles here:
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/category/covid-19/
Have you used Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/) to find research and medical information before? Here's a search link using "joint inflammation +covid-19" — https://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2020&q=joint+inflammation+%2Bcovid-19&hl=en&as_sdt=0,24

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Hi, I'm new to this group and just wondered if anyone else was experiencing joint and muscle pain post covid. I had covid back in August 2021 and 4 months later the muscle and joint pain is awful! I actually have swollen knots on my elbows. I have also lost over half of my hair since this all started. I went to my PCP and she has done blood work and we are waiting on results but in the meantime I'm living on Tylenol. Anyone have any advice or something that has helped them?

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@kd1974

Hi, I'm new to this group and just wondered if anyone else was experiencing joint and muscle pain post covid. I had covid back in August 2021 and 4 months later the muscle and joint pain is awful! I actually have swollen knots on my elbows. I have also lost over half of my hair since this all started. I went to my PCP and she has done blood work and we are waiting on results but in the meantime I'm living on Tylenol. Anyone have any advice or something that has helped them?

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Welcome KD. I'm sorry to hear that you're still dealing with post-COVID symptoms. Muscle and joint pain seems to be a common symptom that several members are dealing with like @foxpride @jloudon @nant @poppy1946 @rolla0812

You might also be interested in this related discussion started by @leezer
– Post-Covid Inflammatory Arthritis https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/post-covid-symptoms-1/

I hope that you will find solutions that will help reduce your dependency on Tylenol. Is massage, PT or light stretching helpful?

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Blood Work or Best Tests for Post Covid Muscle Pains

It has been frustrating trying to get any doctor's to realize muscle pain is not normal for a person that prior to covid ran 5 miles a day and ran a tennis clinic, and was competitive tennis player. This was only 2.5 months ago. I feel like I am the only one doing research into long hauler issues as my doctor's say all this covid symptom stuff will go away on its own. That is not the right stance to me. I love the podcasts from the Mayo Clinic Covid director, at least he seems to maybe give some hope.

I was wondering if anyone knows about what blood tests, etc. are the best to get regaarding all the muscle pains. I have looked on google for muscle pain blood tests, etc. and found some, but not sure if anyone can shed light on best tests to rule out Necrosis, Mytosis, etc. If the doctor's do not want to offer the blood work since they feel this all in people's heads, I will order my own tests on these online lab providers, and go to a naturopathic doctor..

Hope everyone heals and stays positive. Being perfectly healthy, competitive tennis player pre-covid and now with major muscle issues makes me want to help all of us out there. Thanks for any suggestions on blood work, etc.

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Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma viscosity (PV).

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@aztennisguy

Blood Work or Best Tests for Post Covid Muscle Pains

It has been frustrating trying to get any doctor's to realize muscle pain is not normal for a person that prior to covid ran 5 miles a day and ran a tennis clinic, and was competitive tennis player. This was only 2.5 months ago. I feel like I am the only one doing research into long hauler issues as my doctor's say all this covid symptom stuff will go away on its own. That is not the right stance to me. I love the podcasts from the Mayo Clinic Covid director, at least he seems to maybe give some hope.

I was wondering if anyone knows about what blood tests, etc. are the best to get regaarding all the muscle pains. I have looked on google for muscle pain blood tests, etc. and found some, but not sure if anyone can shed light on best tests to rule out Necrosis, Mytosis, etc. If the doctor's do not want to offer the blood work since they feel this all in people's heads, I will order my own tests on these online lab providers, and go to a naturopathic doctor..

Hope everyone heals and stays positive. Being perfectly healthy, competitive tennis player pre-covid and now with major muscle issues makes me want to help all of us out there. Thanks for any suggestions on blood work, etc.

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Welcome @aztennisguy, Sorry to hear you are suffering from muscle pain post COVID. Here are a couple of articles that may provide some information to help you learn more.

"Creatine Kinase (also known as CK, or Creatine Phosphokinase [CPK]) is an important diagnostic blood test for myopathies. CK is a type of protein called an enzyme that is especially active in skeletal muscle, heart tissue, and the brain." — Blood Tests – The Myositis Association: https://www.myositis.org/about-myositis/diagnosis/blood-tests/

"A blood test can be done to identify people who have a certain gene (HLA-B27). … as well as other symptoms, such as eye pain and redness and rashes. Lab …" — Tests for Musculoskeletal Disorders – Bone, Joint, and Muscle: https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/bone,-joint,-and-muscle-disorders/diagnosis-of-musculoskeletal-disorders/tests-for-musculoskeletal-disorders

Have you seen the Post-COVID Recovery blog? — https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/post-covid-recovery/tab/self-care/#ch-tab-navigation

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I was double vaccinated and boosted when I got Covid in January. About five or six weeks later, I developed severe joint pain after some exercise. Since that time (mid-February to mid-June), it has been the traveling pain show: pain in my knees, then pain in the side of my hips, then pain at the top of my legs, then pain in my hip, then in the back of my knee

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@outdoorslass

I was double vaccinated and boosted when I got Covid in January. About five or six weeks later, I developed severe joint pain after some exercise. Since that time (mid-February to mid-June), it has been the traveling pain show: pain in my knees, then pain in the side of my hips, then pain at the top of my legs, then pain in my hip, then in the back of my knee

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I’m on week 7 post acute infection and have similar thing. I’m going to a specialist to identify if mine is nerve/muscular etc. I already went to cardiologist and all that was good.

I recommend seeing a specialist as a referral from primary to start seeing what might it be or at least eliminating what it’s not.

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@outdoorslass

I was double vaccinated and boosted when I got Covid in January. About five or six weeks later, I developed severe joint pain after some exercise. Since that time (mid-February to mid-June), it has been the traveling pain show: pain in my knees, then pain in the side of my hips, then pain at the top of my legs, then pain in my hip, then in the back of my knee

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Also I’m a member of two non-moderated random long hauler Fbook groups (aka, not medical advice so have cynical eye)…but I’m reading and seeing more about antihistamines being an issue related to my symptoms. Many find pains in legs and arms alleviate with an antihistamine H1 and/or H2 blocker (Allegra/Zyrtec/Claritin or Pepcid). Again not medical advice, but something to ask your doctor. I’m on low histamine diet and my symptoms in arms and legs seem to improve. I was diagnosed with skin fungal infection from antibiotics in ear infection and taking meds and took one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in tall glass of water mixed together. Two hours later my entire face and scalp was super itchy and I realized although apple cider vinegar is great for fungal infections it’s high in histamines (lowest in histamines if vinegars but still high). I’m meeting with my dr again next week to check progress on fungal infection and also with dermatologist to confirm my skin infection isn’t something else.

I hope you continue to feel better. It is a bit overwhelming to have all these symptoms persist. Wishing you good healing soon.

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@outdoorslass

I was double vaccinated and boosted when I got Covid in January. About five or six weeks later, I developed severe joint pain after some exercise. Since that time (mid-February to mid-June), it has been the traveling pain show: pain in my knees, then pain in the side of my hips, then pain at the top of my legs, then pain in my hip, then in the back of my knee

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@outdoorslass, I add my welcome to @tiredmommy's. You'll notice that I moved your question about muscle and joint pain post COVID to this existing discussion:
– Joint inflammation and muscle pain after COVID https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/joint-inflammation-and-adults-possibly-from-covid/

@aztennisguy @kd1974 @chrism have also reported muscle and joint issues with and without exercise with long COVID.

Outdoorlass, are you experiencing additional long COVID symptoms? Does reducing the intensity of your activity allow you to exercise?

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@tiredmommy

Also I’m a member of two non-moderated random long hauler Fbook groups (aka, not medical advice so have cynical eye)…but I’m reading and seeing more about antihistamines being an issue related to my symptoms. Many find pains in legs and arms alleviate with an antihistamine H1 and/or H2 blocker (Allegra/Zyrtec/Claritin or Pepcid). Again not medical advice, but something to ask your doctor. I’m on low histamine diet and my symptoms in arms and legs seem to improve. I was diagnosed with skin fungal infection from antibiotics in ear infection and taking meds and took one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in tall glass of water mixed together. Two hours later my entire face and scalp was super itchy and I realized although apple cider vinegar is great for fungal infections it’s high in histamines (lowest in histamines if vinegars but still high). I’m meeting with my dr again next week to check progress on fungal infection and also with dermatologist to confirm my skin infection isn’t something else.

I hope you continue to feel better. It is a bit overwhelming to have all these symptoms persist. Wishing you good healing soon.

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I too experienced major joint pain only in my hips, knees, ankles and toes. I was in excruciating pain when I finally went to dr for my issue. Steroids held it at bay but it would quickly return when I completed taking them. Finally I was treated with large doses of Steroids and arthritis medication. I still have mild knee and ankle joint pain over 10 months later. I'm 41 and quite active with no history of joint issues.

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@aztennisguy

Blood Work or Best Tests for Post Covid Muscle Pains

It has been frustrating trying to get any doctor's to realize muscle pain is not normal for a person that prior to covid ran 5 miles a day and ran a tennis clinic, and was competitive tennis player. This was only 2.5 months ago. I feel like I am the only one doing research into long hauler issues as my doctor's say all this covid symptom stuff will go away on its own. That is not the right stance to me. I love the podcasts from the Mayo Clinic Covid director, at least he seems to maybe give some hope.

I was wondering if anyone knows about what blood tests, etc. are the best to get regaarding all the muscle pains. I have looked on google for muscle pain blood tests, etc. and found some, but not sure if anyone can shed light on best tests to rule out Necrosis, Mytosis, etc. If the doctor's do not want to offer the blood work since they feel this all in people's heads, I will order my own tests on these online lab providers, and go to a naturopathic doctor..

Hope everyone heals and stays positive. Being perfectly healthy, competitive tennis player pre-covid and now with major muscle issues makes me want to help all of us out there. Thanks for any suggestions on blood work, etc.

Jump to this post

I had tons of blood work done by doctors that wouldn't listen to me when I say I was in excruciating pain in my hips, knees ankles and toes. 2 test showed extremely high. Creatine kinase and c reactive protein. I had a multi faceted issue post covid. I had muscle degeneration, numbness and loss of my ability to walk without my legs feeling like my brain and legs weren't on the same page. I was unable to do anything other than basic walking for over 8 weeks. Still over 10 months later I still have mild joint pain in legs. I am 41. I also am very active in running, golf, tennis, basically anything athletic with no joint issues prior to covid. All of my symptoms started after around 7 days post covid. They came one after another about a week separated each major symptom.

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