Nearly 3 Years On: What We Know About Long Covid

“Long COVID, is the term used to describe when people start to recover, or seem to recover, from COVID-19, but then continue to suffer from symptoms. For some, it’s gone on for 2 years or longer. There’s no approved treatment, & the causes are not understood. But evidence shows: Long COVID is a post-viral condition affecting a large percentage of people who become infected. It can be utterly debilitating, or mildly annoying” [1]

The Countless Symptoms

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), note: symptoms of long COVID can include:

• Fatigue or tiredness that impede day-to-day living
• Symptoms that are exacerbated after mental or physical endeavours (also referred to as “post-exertional malaise”)
• Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
• Pain in the chest
• Cough
• Fever
• Heart palpitations (pounding or fast-beating heart)
• Headache
• Brain fog (having trouble concentrating or thinking)
• Insomnia
• Feeling dizzy when standing up
• Experiencing pins-and-needles
• Changes in taste or smell
• Anxiety or depression
• Pain in the stomach
• Rash
• Diarrhoea
• Muscle or joint pain
• Back pain
• Menstrual cycle changes [1, 2].

The Long Hard Road

“People with post-COVID conditions may develop or continue to have symptoms that are hard to explain & manage. Moreover, long COVID can substantially limit a major life activity. For example: a person with long COVID who has lung damage that causes shortness of breath, fatigue, & related effects, is substantially limited in respiratory function, among other major life activities” [1]

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 19% of American patients who have ever contracted COVID-19, suffer long COVID symptoms. Further, a September 2021 University of Oxford study, determined that over a third of UK patients experienced long COVID symptoms for a period of 3 to 6 months post-COVID-19 diagnosis. Moreover, as recorded by the medical journal, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, one Chinese study showed that 55% of COVID-19 patients, experienced one or more lingering symptoms 24 months later [1].

The Age Factor

“Older adults are less likely to have long COVID than younger adults. Nearly three times as many adults ages 50-59 currently have long COVID than those age 80 & older, & women & racial & ethnic minorities are more likely to be affected [1]

Back Pain

One in five people experiencing COVID-19, suffer from back pain. It is thought that this could be due to the fact that COVID-19 generates inflammation, which, together with muscle pain, results in back pain [2]. If you are experiencing back pain, contact a Pain Specialist. Pain doctors are highly experienced in determining the root of the problem, and are very familiar with COVID-19 symptoms.


[1]. Fox. M. (2022). “What We Know About Long COVID So Far.” WebMD.

[2]. Joi, P. (2022). “Why does COVID-19 cause back pain?” Gavi.