Physical Therapy For Long COVID
According to the Mayo Clinic, Long COVID is when someone experiences the effects from COVID-19 for longer than 4 weeks. COVID-19 can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Each person's experience with Long COVID is unique because COVID-19 reacts to each person's body differently. This results in a wide range of symptoms that is dependent on the area of the body affected. If you had these symptoms prior to having COVID, then it is not likely that your symptoms are due to COVID-19, but it is always prudent to consult your physician. If you have experienced the following symptoms for longer than 4 weeks since contracting COVID-19, you could have Long COVID.
- Shortness of Breath
- Difficulty Breathing
- Joint Pain
- Chest Pain
- Memory, Concentration, or Sleep Problems
- Muscle Pain or Headache
- Fast or pounding Heartbeat
- Loss of Smell or Taste
- Depression or Anxiety
- Dizziness when you stand
- Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities
What causes Long COVID? There is only speculation at this point, but some possibilities are:
- Prolonged inflammatory response
- Autoimmune response
- Suppressed Immune system
- Virus hiding in the body
What should you do if you suspect you have Long COVID?
- You should see your physician.
- See a Physical Therapist for Muscle aches, Pain, & Fatigue.
- Athletes should not return to sport until you are able to exercise without exacerbating your symptoms.
.How Can Physical Therapy Help?
- Graduated exercise program customized to you
- Breathing protocols
- Modalities for pain
- Instruction in energy conservation and submaximal exercise if needed
- Objective measures of functional output to determine readiness to return to sport
The good news is, we have treated individuals post-COVID, and they have gotten better. Here is an excerpt of what one person had to say regarding their Post-COVID Therapy experience:
"I started PT at Lifestyle Physical Therapy after a severe case of Covid. If I started to feel pain in any way my PT would stop me or adjust the position and was always asking if I was doing ok throughout the session. He knows a lot about how the body works and I’ve learned more in the last 3 months about exercise than ever before. "
If you or someone you know, is experiencing symptoms of Long COVID, we want you to know that you are not alone. We are here to help and walk this journey with you.