Clinical presentations of pain in patients with COVID-19 infection

Murat S., Dogruoz Karatekin B., İÇAĞASIOĞLU A. , Ulasoglu C., Icten S., Incealtin O.

IRISH JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCE, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11845-020-02433-x


Background Pain can be considered an early sign of COVID-19 infection. There are no studies that specifically investigate the frequency, characteristics, and presentation patterns of pain in COVID-19 infection. Aims Our aim is to evaluate the frequency, localization, and severity of pain among the presenting signs and symptoms in patients with COVID-19. Methods Patients with the diagnosis of COVID-19 who were admitted to our hospital between March and June 2020 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients' general symptoms at the first admission to the hospital, presence of pain at admission, localization, severity, and persistence of pain were queried by phone call. Results A total of 210 inpatients diagnosed with COVID-19 were recruited from the hospitals database. Complaints of the patients were 76.6% fatigue, 69.3% pain, 62% fever, 45.3% cough, 43.5% loss of taste and/or smell, 25% diarrhea, and 0.5% skin lesions respectively. Pain was the chief complaint in of 46.61% of the patients. Pain complaints had started on average 2.2 (+/- 2.8) days before admission. Among 133 patients reporting pain, the distribution of site was 92 (69.2%) myalgia/arthralgia; 67 (50.4%) headache; 58 (43.6%) back pain; 44 (33.1%) low back pain; 33 (25.0%) chest pain; 28 (21.1%) sore throat; and 18 (13.6%) abdominal pain. Conclusions The most common pain symptoms were myalgia/arthralgia and headache (69.17% and 50.37%) and found to be much higher than previously reported. Pain is one of the most common complaints of admission to the hospital in patients with COVID-19. Patients who apply to health institutions with pain complaints should be evaluated and questioned in suspicion of COVID-19 infection.