Recovery From Long COVID

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Recovery From Long COVID

Sufferers of Long COVID are individuals who feel symptoms long after the typical course of the disease. These may include the continuation of symptoms experienced during the initial illness such as shortness of breath or fatigue. New symptoms may begin weeks after recovering, such as worsening chest discomfort, brain fog, and difficulty thinking. Each patient’s experience will be slightly different and can include a range of symptoms throughout the body. The recovery process and timeline for a return to previous activities will vary from person to person and may extend from weeks to months.

How Can Physical Therapy help with Long Covid?

Movement, rest, and fluids are essential to recovery. As movement experts, physical therapists are a fundamental part of the recovery process for patients with Long COVID. Physical therapy can help improve strength, stamina, and quality of life through prescribed movement and exercise. However, in returning to exercise, we must consider all potential long-term complications – respiratory, cardiac, musculoskeletal, and psychological. A multi-disciplinary approach to assessment and management of Long COVID is essential (1).
There are safe and effective ways to restore strength, endurance, range of motion, and movement without overexertion. By measuring blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, physical therapists monitor a patient’s response to activity. Initial “exercise” may be as simple as breathing activities and flexibility with slow progressions back to previous level of exercises.

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