Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs): Chronic Pain Increases the Risk of Long Covid by Jacob Teitelbaum

Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs): Chronic Pain Increases the Risk of Long Covid

A study published in the international journal Pain, which followed over 2.4 million subjects, has shown that people with major kinds of chronic pain such as migraines, low back pain, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (called COPCs or chronic overlapping pain conditions) are 47 percent more likely to develop long COVID.

This research has far-reaching public health implications. If COPCs predict the onset of long COVID, they could inform targeted screening, prognosis, intervention development and precision medicine therapies.

We are no longer driving blind. One problem has been that we couldn’t predict in advance who was at higher risk, but now we can. This study helps us understand that we often get warning signs before we get full-blown post-viral syndrome. It reframes our focus from looking at long COVID exclusively as a postinfectious disease. With research showing the medication metformin can decrease long COVID risk by over 60 percent, this ability to predict higher risk becomes even more important.

Chronic pain, as is seen in fibromyalgiamigraines and other chronic pain conditions, can trigger changes in the brain called brain pain or microglial activation. When persistent, this then can trigger nerve pain – small fiber neuropathy. All of these are offshoots of the human energy crisis which triggers chronic pain. Understanding these conditions is critical to helping people recover.

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Elisa Schmitz
As always, you share such helpful insights with us. Many thanks, Jacob Teitelbaum !

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