Physical Medicine and COVID-19: What You Should Know

Although the impact of COVID-19 is seen most dramatically in emergency rooms and intensive care units, the virus has affected nearly every part of the medical industry. You’ve probably heard about elective surgeries being rescheduled and practices like eye doctors and dentists closing to slow the spread of the virus.

The physical medicine field hasn’t been immune to the impacts of COVID-19. Use this blog as a guide to the intersection of COVID-19 and physical medicine, from the symptoms of the virus to what we’re doing to keep you safe when you visit our office.

Physical Medicine & Wellness Center of Northern Kentucky is open and ready to serve all of your chiropractic and physical medicine needs. Benton Dammel, DC, Ashley Phillips, APRN, and the rest of our practice are dedicated to helping you find relief from your pain and other life-disrupting symptoms. Dr. Dammel is a highly skilled physician and chiropractor who practices comprehensive, evidence-based care to help his patients achieve lasting relief.

Muscle pain added as COVID-19 symptom

On April 30, the CDC added new COVID-19 symptoms to the official list. Dry cough, shortness of breath, and fever were joined by:

  • Chills

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of smell or taste

  • Muscle pain

Many of these were already well known, including muscle pain.

On COVID-19 muscle pain

A February World Health Organization report on confirmed cases in China found that about 15% of all COVID-19 patients experience joint and muscle pain from the virus. While this is much smaller than the number of those who experience fever (87.9%) or dry cough (67.7%), it still represents 150,000 patients for every million infected.

The pain, which is said to feel like the muscles are tender and sore, is extremely common with virus-caused illnesses. The pain is caused by damage to the muscle fibers from the virus itself. The virus also triggers an inflammatory response within your body that can lead to abnormal tissue breakdown.

After COVID-19, post-intensive care syndrome

With so many patients needing ventilators, the American Physical Therapy Association has predicted that many outpatient physical therapy providers could see a surge in patients with post-intensive care syndrome.

Time spent sedated in the ICU takes a toll on the human body, and one of the biggest symptoms of post-intensive care syndrome is drawn-out muscle weakness. A third of all patients on ventilators experience this weakness, which is caused by long periods of sedation that zap strength and muscle tone. If you or a loved one seems to be dealing with post-intensive care syndrome, we may be able to help.

What we are doing

At Physical Medicine & Wellness Center of Northern Kentucky, we’re taking precautions to protect the health of our patients and staff. In addition to keeping 6 feet apart as much as possible, changes in our operations include:


All members of our staff are using N95 masks that we provide or homemade fabric masks. We require that patients also wear masks, but we’re happy to provide you with one.

Temperature checks

Your temperature is taken as soon as you enter our office. We must ask you to leave if you have a fever over 100°F.


We don’t require that you wear gloves, but they’re available to patients who may feel more comfortable wearing them.


You’ll be asked to fill-out a COVID-19-related questionnaire before your appointment.


When it comes to cleaning, we run ultraviolet lights during our lunch break and use an ozone-cleaning machine every night.

As always, we expect that everyone is doing their assigned stretches and exercises(!) in the time we’re apart.

COVID-19 has caused a lot of disruptions, but Physical Medicine & Wellness Center of Northern Kentucky is open and ready to serve you.