Why do some people have nerve pain after ventilation for COVID-19?

Why do some people have nerve pain after ventilation for COVID-19?

Critically ill COVID-19 patients often receive ventilation to relieve ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome).

They are placed in the swimmers or prone position. Unfortunately remaining in this position for multiple hours a day, can lead to peripheral nerve injury and pain. 

Demonstration of the swimmer’s or prone position. 

Common causes of nerve pain

Common symptoms of nerve pain

Signs and symptoms vary greatly, depending on the location and severity of the nerve damage.

You may experience some of these: 

Location of the pain

You may feel pain anywhere from the:

When to see your doctor?

See your doctor immediately if you have lingering pain, weakness or numbness.
Your doctor will

Common treatments

Depending on the location and severity of the nerve pain:

Step 1: Your doctor will relieve pressure and tension on the injured nerve, using the least invasive procedures. 

Step 2: Your doctor may prescribe a short-term pain reliever, muscle relaxant, and or anti-inflammatory medication.

Step 3: Your doctor may perform peripheral nerve blocks to help diagnose and treat your condition.

Last resort: If the pain lasts more than 3 months, you might need a surgical solution.

What is the prognosis?

Long-term recovery depends on how severe the nerve injury is. Some nerves can regenerate slowly.
This can take between 12 and 18 months.