May is National Physiotherapy Month, and in 2022 the focus is on how physiotherapy can help alleviate the symptoms of Long COVID. Long COVID has become an increasing concern worldwide as more and more of us contract COVID and deal with its after effects. Although the mechanisms that cause post-COVID conditions are still being investigated, there is an immediate need for effective symptom management.
What is Long COVID?
Most people who contract COVID-19 fully recover after a week or two. However, some people (approximately 10%–20%) continue to experience negative effects after they recover from the acute illness stage, even after a mild case. Long COVID or post-COVID syndrome symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction or “brain fog,” persistent cough, mental health issues like anxiety or depression, loss of smell and taste, joint pain, and muscle aches, and may fluctuate over time.
These symptoms can be debilitating and can affect daily functioning for COVID long-haulers. Many people report difficulties with getting back to their usual activities, especially exercise.
How can it be treated?
There is currently no specific medication therapy for people with Long COVID, but there is mounting evidence that physiotherapy can help.
At ProActive Rehab, we treat Long COVID just like we do other chronic conditions: we listen to your concerns, help you set recovery goals, and come up with a personalized treatment plan. We focus on energy management, safely building activity back into your lifestyle, and maintaining a positive outlook. We program paced exercise, monitor your heart rate and breathing, provide education about self-management of symptoms, and support you with positive reinforcement and reassurance.
For more information on Long COVID and how physiotherapy can help, as well as resources and peer support opportunities, visit longcovid.physio.
If you are dealing with post-COVID syndrome, remember you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to us for a consultation; one of our physiotherapists will be happy to provide an assessment.