After more than 20 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, millions of people have finally recovered from the disease brought by the SARS-CoV-2 virus or the novel coronavirus.
During the earlier days of the pandemic, experts struggled to keep up with the symptoms that came with the disease as now and then, evidence of a new coronavirus sign has been reported until experts discover that the symptoms happen as the virus ravage various parts of the body, not just the lungs.
Now, it seems like recovering patients still have to experience difficulties as their recovery led to some more coronavirus-related symptoms, including jaw pain.
Dr. Douglas Dieterich, a hepatologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, had spent several weeks in the hospital’s ICU back in March when he tested positive for COVID-19, and according to his interview with Fox News, the doctor experienced several other symptoms related to the virus.
Among them is jaw pain, which is also known as TMJ or the temporomandibular joint.
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For those who are not aware, the TMJ is the joint where the ears and the jaw meet, and according to physical therapists from Thrive Integrated Physical Therapy, it is an area that is commonly a site for discomfort and pain.
According to the doctor, he was told that the pain might be due to his “open-mouth breathing when he was struggling to get air when he was sick and during the early days of recovery.
“I am now wearing a mouth guard to alleviate strain in the TMJ region and doing physical therapy,” Dr. Dieterich said.
Compared to the horrors that many COVID-19 patients had to face when they were sick, jaw pain is definitely a lot tamer, but it’s still adding to their discomfort, and despite getting better, they had to suffer from the virus from the start until to the very last day they recover.
The liver specialist was also not the only one who had problems with jaw pain as it turns out many recovering patients also had the same issues, according to health experts that the news outlet interviewed.
But how exactly does jaw pain happen?
“With COVID-19 infections, many patients were not able to breathe efficiently and compensated using accessory muscles in their neck to help them breathe,” Tamar Amitay, PT, owner of Thrive Integrated Physical Therapy explained. “This can cause the neck muscles that pull on the jaw to become overworked and strained, leading to discomfort in the jaw and neck area.”
Meanwhile, Sherri Glass, PT, the director of Metro Physical and Aquatic Therapy, also said that COVID-19 patients might have been clenching their teeth at night due to increased stress from the disease, causing pain and discomfort in the area.
Furthermore, Glass also explained that improper posture from breathing problems might also lead to muscle imbalance that creates more tension in the neck and jaw.
Fortunately, recovering coronavirus patients struggling with jaw pain can get help from physical therapists to relieve pain and discomfort.
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This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by: Nhx Tingson