The COVID-19 pandemic has affected countless individuals’ mental and physical health since it first began over a year ago. Now, as our world begins to recover from this health crisis, many people will be facing new challenges. Some individuals who contracted COVID-19 may be left facing potentially debilitating symptoms even weeks-to-months after overcoming the virus itself. These individuals, termed “long haulers,” may be left with a wide range of symptoms that could negatively impact their ability to resume normal activities and actively participate in their home or work life. The full, long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic remain a mystery. However, there are actions that can be taken now to help aid individuals experiencing “long COVID,” or “post-COVID-19 syndrome.”
Long COVID symptoms can vary drastically from person-to-person, affect different organ systems, and may change over time. Potential symptoms may include: breathlessness, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, “brain fog,” difficulty concentrating, memory issues, headaches, cardiovascular issues, GI problems, and anxiety/depression. Additionally, people who required a prolonged hospitalization or an ICU stay when sick with COVID-19 have an increased risk for weakness and deconditioning resulting from bed rest. If you are recovering from COVID-19 and battling any of these long COVID symptoms, you may want to consider physical therapy treatment.
Physical therapists are highly trained medical professionals who are experts at helping people recover their mobility and function after a serious illness, injury, and disease. The physical therapists at Northern Rehab work with each individual to evaluate their current functional status and create a plan of care that is specific to the individual’s needs. They will provide a variety of different treatments designed to help reduce pain, manage fatigue, improve activity tolerance, and return each person to their previous level of functioning. Additionally, there is an increasing body of evidence which suggests that routine physical activity and exercise can be helpful for managing depression and anxiety, as well as cognitive deficits.
If you are interested in getting started with physical therapy, Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists is a convenient, local, and privately-owned physical therapy practice that has been voted “Best Physical Therapist” by our community for the past 9 years. Although it is important to keep your doctor informed about any changes in your symptoms when recovering from COVID-19, a physician’s prescription is not required to begin physical therapy treatment. All of our Physical Therapists are trained to thoroughly screen patients and constantly reassess symptoms to make sure that you are safe to participate in exercise. If you are interested in learning more information about physical therapy treatment for managing the long term effects of COVID-19, please call our office at 815.756.8524 to schedule an appointment and start feeling better today.
Authored by Lauren Momberger, PT, DPT with Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists