How Physiotherapy Continues to Support Long Covid Patients
COVID is not a flu, it is a very serious illness that has long-term ramifications for the health of patients. While some patients get away with mild symptoms, other face symptoms for a very long time. Even after recovery, some patients suffer a range of symptoms for many months. Since it is not possible to take medications for very long durations, physiotherapy for long COVID patients is needed.
What is Long COVID?
Long COVID refers to symptoms of COVID that continue for a long time after the infection. The long time here refers to 12 weeks or more than that. These can be classical COVID respiratory symptoms and also post-COVID symptoms like fatigue breathlessness, disabilities in walking or memory, sleep problems, etc.
How physiotherapy can help?
Physiotherapy during COVID recovery can be very helpful for patients. One of the major problems faced during COVID treatment is weaning the patient off the ventilator. Patients with serious breathing issues need to spend many days on the ventilator. Physiotherapy is essential in helping the patient when taken off from the ventilator. Once the patient is moved to the ward and returns home, breathing problems can continue. The patient may need oxygen support.
Physical rehabilitation is an area where physiotherapists can help. They can use manual techniques like proning the patient to help them breathe better. Patients also need help to be able to get up from the bed and slowly restart normal activities without feeling breathless. For some patients, this support is needed for many months.
Fatigue and neurological problems are commonly experienced by Long COVID patients. A lot of physiotherapy support is required during these times. The help of an experienced physiotherapist is needed by the patient at his/her home. Patients need physiotherapists who can visit their home and offer treatment to help them deal with the debilitating symptoms.
Apart from treatment, patients need to exercise to strengthen their lungs and also to strengthen their body. This is needed to prevent weight gain. Here again, support from physiotherapists would be needed. The physio can help the patient to make an exercise plan and guide the patient on the various exercises to be done. It is important to do this slowly to prevent worsening of symptoms. Monitoring by the physio is required.
Patients suffering from Long COVID can get in touch with an experienced physio who offers physiotherapy home visits to help aid recovery from the symptoms.