Here’s how to manage chest pain after Covid-19 recovery

Our lives have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite a drop in cases from past waves, the pandemic is far from over. In fact, some virus survivors are still showing post-Covid symptoms. Chest pain after recovering from Covid-19 is the most typical symptom.

Chest Pain: A Post-Covid-19 Symptom

The number of patients seeking medical help for chest pain is increasing rapidly. A detailed medical history of these patients shows that a significant majority have had Covid infection, ranging from mild to severe symptoms.

These patients present with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe chest pain, which can significantly affect the ability to perform everyday tasks. Some people face challenges even with simple activities like changing posture or going for a walk in the park.

It was also noticed that some patients had tenderness in certain parts of the chest. However, all examinations in these patients were essentially normal, including blood tests, CT scan and MRI of the chest.

Chest pain after recovering from Covid-19
Chest pain and heart attack are different. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

To relieve pain, most patients had tried over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers with no long-lasting relief. The disadvantage of self-medication is that long-term use of painkillers can lead to kidney dysfunction and, in extreme cases, even failure.

How to treat chest pain after Covid-19?

Painkillers can be given for a short time to relieve the pain. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, muscle relaxants like thiocolchicoside and tolperisone, or weak opioids like tramadol. In addition to these, use other medications like gabapin, pregabalin, and tryptomer that can help with pain management.

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If the pain persists, the pain therapist can help alleviate the symptoms by blocking intercostal nerves. This is a quick procedure in which the nerves between the ribs (intercostal nerves) are blocked with a mixture of local anesthetic and a steroid under ultrasound guidance. This procedure is safe and provides long-lasting relief as most patients only need it once.

Chest Pain or Heart Attack?

In recent months we have witnessed several deaths due to heart attacks, which has caused concern among people. So how can we tell if the chest pain is due to a heart attack or something else?

Chest pain after recovering from Covid-19
Gas pain can also be felt in the chest. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Well, when you have a heart attack, the chest pain is severe, although some patients may not feel any pain, especially those with diabetes. Second, heart attack pain is usually short-lived and can last for several days. Third, the pain of a heart attack can worsen with activity. Investigations such as blood tests, EKG and ECHO will reveal the heart attack. Also, if it’s tender, that is, if it hurts to touch, it’s unlikely to be a heart attack.”

When to seek medical help?

People who have recovered from Covid-19 may have symptoms similar to those of a heart attack, including chest pain and occasionally shortness of breath. Therefore, it is important to always consult a doctor when experiencing chest pain and you should avoid treating these symptoms at home.

A regular health check-up can keep an eye on your health by detecting early signs of health problems.

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