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Doctors exploring the links between COVID-19, arthritis

OSPTKY’s therapist, Marc Wynstra, and patient, Jim Nelson, spoke with Spectrum about their experience working together to help Jim’s osteoarthritis, read on below!


May is Arthritis Awareness Month, and in the Commonwealth nearly a million people currently suffer from the condition. Doctors right here in Kentucky and across the nation are exploring the topic and why it’s linked to COVID-19 infections.

Nobody thinks they’re going to need physical therapy in their lifetime, but some need it. Jim Nelson is one of many, taking each day one step at a time through the help of physical therapy. It’s a journey he started a few months ago after struggling 10 months with osteoarthritis.

“Very little pain whereas six weeks ago quite a bit of pain doing this size step,” said Nelson.

Like millions of other Americans, arthritis causes Nelson’s pain. He attends physical therapy sessions twice a week for an hour at Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in Lexington. Researchers from the National Center of Biotechnology say what Nelson is experiencing could be linked to COVID-19. Marc Wynstra holds a Doctor of Physical Therapy, serves as Nelson’s physical therapist but he’s one of many doctors exploring the link between COVID-19 and arthritis.

“There’s several studies that have come out that have talked about that link between COVID-19 and arthritis and definitely inactivity can worsen arthritis,” said Wynstra.

The studies show COVID-19 can cause reactive arthritis, meaning the form of arthritis can be triggered by infection. Nelson takes exercise seriously but still managed to come face to face with arthritis.

“Active my whole life, played basketball three or four times a week, no problems. Then all of a sudden I got out there and couldn’t even run,” said Nelson.

Nelson hasn’t been infected with COVID-19 to his knowledge but says the link scares him. Nelson deals with a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis, which will last a lifetime. The former college basketball player was shooting hoops when he felt excruciating pain in his legs and knees almost 10 months ago.

“It came on all at once, and once you get it… it never goes away,” said Nelson.

Knowing there’s no cure, Nelson says he’s focused on improving his quality of life. Knee bends and jumping exercises have been most helpful. Nelson is hoping these sessions can get him back on the court and help him stay active for his daughter to see.

“To think about having to give something you’ve done your whole life [basketball]. I guess it makes you feel immortal. It makes you feel your age. It’s something I don’t want to have happen,” said Nelson.

Even though the arthritis is slowing him down, Nelson says he’s going to remain positive. Orthopedic and sports physical therapy in Lexington confirms with us they have seen an increase in arthritis patients needing physical therapy.


Watch full segment here:–arthritis?cid=app_share#

Find a Physical Therapist today!

Orthosport Physical Therapy

Culver City, CA Phone: (310) 837-9700

Physical Therapy Care

Fort Bend County, TX Phone:

Physical Therapy Specialists

Beverly Hills, CA Phone: (310) 273-7800

Precise Physical Therapy

Kansas City, KS Phone: (855) 745-0278

Manual Edge Physical Therapy

Colorado Springs, CO Phone: (719) 694-8342

TLC Rehab

The Villages, FL Phone:

Northwest Physical Therapy

Sedro-Wooley, WA Phone: (360) 428-2700

Shea Physical Therapy

Corpus Christi Phone: 361-992-1933

Advanced Physical Therapy

Wichita, KS Phone: (866) 412-5554

Strive Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation

Moorestown, NJ Phone: (800) 903-4142

Elite Physical Therapy

Alexandria, LA Phone: 318-443-3111

Xcel Sports Medicine

Vandalia, OH Phone: 937-890-9235

Colorado in Motion

Fort Collins, CO Phone: (970) 475-8651


Calabasas, CA Phone: (800) 766-7876

Mountain River Physical Therapy

Parkersburg, WV Phone: (304) 865-6778

Preferred Physical Therapy

Kansas City, MO Phone: (866) 412-5554


Columbus, GA
Auburn, AL
Columbia, SC
Phone: (706) 322-7762

Evidence in Motion (EIM)

San Antonio TX Phone: 888-709-7096

Fit for Work

San Antonio, TX Phone: 877-348-4975

Rehab Therapy Works

Spring Hill, FL Phone: (352) 597-8996

Lake Centre for Rehab

The Villages, FL Phone: (352) 728-6636

Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Lexington, KY Phone: (859) 264-0512

Confluent Health

Louisville, KY Phone: (502) 442-7697

Tallahassee Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Tallahasee, FL Phone: (850) 877-8855


Louisville, KY & Evansville, IN Phone: (888) 591-8280

Physical Therapy Central

Oklahoma City, OK Phone: (866) 866-3893

El Paso Physical Therapy Services

El Paso, Texas Phone: (915) 581-9606

Baton Rouge Physical Therapy

Baton Rouge, LA Phone: (225) 206-5292


Fort Worth, TX Phone: 888-658-8483

Redbud Physical Therapy

Tulsa, OK Phone: (866) 866-3893

Capitol Physical Therapy

Madison, WI Phone: (608) 527-0602

BreakThrough Physical Therapy

Raleigh, NC Phone: (866) 922-0012

Proactive Physical Therapy Specialists

Portland, OR Phone: 866-922-1175

RET Physical Therapy Group

Seattle, Washington Phone: 844-708-7982

Texas Physical Therapy Specialists

Austin TX
San Antonio TX
Phone: 888-658-8483

Pappas OPT Physical, Sports and Hand Therapy

Providence, RI Phone: (401) 205-3423

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