Musculoskeletal Manifestations of COVID-19: A Systematic Search and Review

Moshiur Rahman Khasru, Abu Bakar Siddiq, Tangila Marzen, Mubdiur Rahman, Iffat Islam, Syed Ahmed Refaie, Tamjid Ali, Reaz Uddin, Mohammad Hasan, Radia Naz, Fariha Haseen, Syed Shariful Islam, Daniel Clegg, Johannes J. Rasker (Hans)*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Introduction: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) started its journey from Wuhan, China and gradually became a pandemic. COVID-19 often affects the respiratory system, but symptoms may include fatigue, myalgia, arthralgia, arthritis, spine-, and bone pain as presenting complaints. In the present systematic search and review, we aim to highlight the musculoskeletal manifestations during COVID-19.

Methods: Using PubMed Central and Google Scholar search engines, we used as key words “muscle pain”, “joint pain”, “body ache”, “fatigue”, in Covid-19 patients. Results: After screening, a total of 76 articles were included following inclusion criteria dated between January 1 and July 1, 2020. All articles were published in English comprising 36558 COVID-19 cases. In cross sectional studies, fatigue was found in 55%, myalgia in 26%, and arthralgia in 20%, respectively. In cohort studies, fatigue was found in 35%, myalgia in 15%, and arthralgia in 5%, respectively. Sporadic case reports also mention back pain, bone pain, myositis and arthritis as presenting symptoms of COVID-19.

Discussion: Fatigue was the most frequent musculoskeletal (MSK) manifestion of COVID-19 followed by myalgia and joint pain. The frequency of the different MSK manifestations in COVID-19 may vary widely among different geographic regions.

Conclusions: MSK like fatigue, myalgia and arthralgia are frequent symptoms in COVID-19 patients and may vary in different countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-80
JournalRheumatology Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021


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