An estimated 10 to 20 percent of individuals who have had COVID have persisting symptoms. This condition is sometimes referred to as “long COVID or long-haulers.” For many, resuming life has been more difficult than anticipated. Furthermore, these individuals are at increased risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome, which can lead to critical illness myopathy or critical illness polyneuropathy. Results Physiotherapy’s Post-COVID Recovery Program offers a path forward.
What Are the Symptoms of Long COVID?
“We see many patients who have had COVID and are past the quarantine period, yet they’re still having difficulties getting back to life activities,” says Amy Crouse, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT of Results Physiotherapy. “They may be dealing with a wide variety of symptoms including fatigue, weakness, difficulty breathing, limited functional ability, limited activities of daily living, pain, or decreased balance or dizziness, among other issues.”
The Post-COVID Recovery Program
At Results Physiotherapy, post-COVID recovery follows four distinct stages.
- Stage 1: Evaluation of current status, baseline measures and initiation of a basic exercise program.
- Stage 2: Expanded breathing exercises, aerobic conditioning, strengthening, and hands-on treatment to improve cardio-respiratory function.
- Stage 3: Progression to longer aerobic workouts, increased strengthening and functional activities.
- Stage 4: Return to activities such as work, play, sports/athletics and hobbies with a focus on long-term adherence.
Is the Post-COVID Recovery Program Right for Me?
Results Physiotherapy is helping patients with a wide spectrum of needs, including those who can barely catch their breath as they go from the bedroom to the bathroom, as well as runners who can’t get past a mile or athletes who can’t return to the workouts or practices that they used to be capable of before COVID. If you are experiencing any lingering symptoms, you may benefit from this program.
To enhance safety, every patient receives a thorough cardiovascular exam and regular cardiovascular monitoring throughout treatment. “We’re consistently measuring heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation,” explains Crouse. “The providers measure this to track progress over time and to recognize if there’s a need to refer patients to a health care provider. For example, if a patient’s O2 saturation drops below a certain range and heart rate and blood pressure are above a certain level, then we either need to stop treatment for the day or refer that patient to a healthcare provider.”
Patients recovering from COVID can see providers at Results Physiotherapy directly or via referral.
What Post-COVID Treatments Are Available?
Treatments and therapies include:
- Close assessment and monitoring of cardiovascular symptoms
- Addressing individual function limitation
- Breathing techniques
- Education on spirometry use
- Respiratory muscle training
- Specific, individualized gradual return to exercise
“We always consider patient education as a significant component of treatment,” says Crouse. “We focus on why you can’t get back to running––for example, because oxygen saturation is too low. Educating patients around the pathology and how it’s affecting the body is important to our practice.”
Start Your Post-COVID Recovery at Results Physiotherapy
To get the help you need in getting back to your pre-COVID self, request an appointment online. Or, call a Middle Tennessee Results Physiotherapy location near you. Your future is waiting. The Results Physiotherapy Post-Covid Recovery Program can help.