Covid-19 long-term form and MSDs

Covid can cause the body to attack itself

A new study illustrates for the first time, using medical imagery, some of the rare consequences of COVID-19: how the disease can cause the body to attack its own muscles, joints and nerves. The study, published in the journal Skeletal Radiology , offers new insight into some of the disease’s mysterious symptoms, such as manifestations in the toes.

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The authors include a series of scans and MRIs that can help radiologists decipher lingering aches, pains, and inflammation that may be linked to the disease. The imagery confirms what doctors have long suspected: that COVID-19 can trigger “friendly fire” in the immune system. “It’s an autoimmune reaction where the virus causes the body to attack itself, and it can go on for a long time. It may even be permanent, ”said Dr. Swati Deshmukh, assistant professor of radiology at Northwestern University and co-author of the study.

Covid and muscle painWhile the virus typically causes breathing problems, the study notes that COVID-19 can sometimes trigger complications such as flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and autoimmune myositis. Certainly, other viruses can cause muscle pain. Some other viruses can even cause joint problems. But the range of symptoms that we see and the number of people who experience these symptoms with COVID-19 – is not comparable to what we have seen before, ”she says.

Experts still don’t fully explain why the virus can sometimes cause these exaggerated immune responses, but there are several theories. When antibodies stick to a virus, they can turn it off, but it’s up to other immune cells to get in and destroy it. One theory is that some patients find it difficult to destroy these antibody-coated viruses, which leads to a buildup of waste that can set off a chain reaction.

The end result is that confused immune cells attack friendly troops (tissues, muscles, nerves,…). “The virus tricks the body into thinking that some of its own cells, some of its own muscles or joints, are foreign to the body and need to be eliminated,” Dr. Deshmukh explained. The study presents clues that radiologists should look for in the images. It takes an expert’s eye, but they should look for inflammation or fluid buildup to reveal signs that joint or muscle symptoms are actually caused by an immune response linked to COVID.

These lingering effects can occur either in patients with severe COVID or just a mild case, said Dr. Deshmukh. In some cases, imaging has revealed clues that a patient had complications from COVID-19 even before the patient knew he was infected, she said.

“COVID-19 is full of surprises and the number of people infected is so astronomical that the number of complications that we think are rare is actually not that rare at all,” she said. She hopes the study will lead to better diagnoses so that patients can benefit from targeted treatments.

Our approach to helping Covid-Long patients

As I have already mentioned, some of the neuro-muscular symptoms that are present in “covid-long” patients are symptoms for which my patients have been consulting me for years: chronic pain, migraines, dizziness, dysautonomia and POTS, … We have set up a program to help relieve Covid-Long patients by combining chiropractic care with functional neurology, neurostimulation and photobiomodulation. Many patients who have had the long covid suffer from extreme asthenia which requires a very personalized approach so as not to exceed the physiological limits of the person. Hence a combination of photobiomodulation to improve the functioning of mitochondria within cells and targeted and measured stimulation.

References :

Ramani SL, Samet J, Franz CK, Hsieh C, Nguyen CV, Horbinski C, Deshmukh S. Musculoskeletal involvement of COVID-19: review of imaging. Skeletal Radiol. 2021 Feb 18:1–11.

ABC News translated article

Alen Parker

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