Long Term COVID

Post-acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 (PASC)

As long term effects of COVID-19 are surfacing, physical therapy is a first choice when combating the lingering muscle weakness, gait abnormalities, balance deficits, and lack of cardiovascular capacity.  Recently the term Post-acute Sequela of SARS CoV-2 or “Long Term COVID” has been coined to describe the lasting effects of COVID on the body, when the acute phase has passed. About 10% of individuals that have recovered from COVID-19 continue to battle long term symptoms for weeks or even months following the infection. Physical Therapy can be an integral part of recovery.

If you have had COVID-19 and are suffering from long lasting symptoms, physical therapy may be able to help you recover quicker and return to the life you had prior.

Symptoms that a physical therapist can help with:

Fatigue or difficulty completing daily tasks
Difficulty getting back to your regular exercise routine
Shortness of breath or chest pain
Changes in your balance
New joint pain or stiffness
Deconditioning from long periods of inactivity 
Muscle weakness
Difficulty walking or with transfers
Sleep problems
Gastrointestinal symptoms

So what can a physical therapist do to treat the above symptoms?

  • As experts in the musculoskeletal system, physical therapists are well equipped to help with deficits in these areas. We can address the system with strengthening and stretching to help relieve pain, immobility and get you back to your prior level of function. 
  • We can also develop a specific and safe aerobic exercise program with specific limits to avoid overly stressing the lungs and cardiac system that can be affected by the coronavirus and the effects of immobility.
  • The gastrointestinal system can also be disrupted by COVID and we can provide you with techniques and coping mechanisms to normalize the gut,as well as your bowels and bladder.
  • Sleep is often interrupted after an illness. Physical therapy can help with strategies to increase the length and quality of your sleep.
  • Balance drills and proprioception exercises can address any instability or dizziness you may experience after your illness

If you have symptoms of long term COVID, contact your primary care doctor. Long term COVID may include other health complications that require labs, tests, or imaging before being referred to a physical therapist for an evaluation and treatment specific to your condition. Note: Exercise may not be appropriate for everyone living with the effects of long term COVID.

You may also contact us directly and we can refer you or communicate with your primary physician if warranted to rule out any other health complications.

The goal of physical therapy is to improve your strength, stamina, and quality of life through prescribed movement. Call us today if you would like help managing your post COVID -19 symptoms.