post covid 19 rehabilitation

Recovery from Covid can be long. Even after a negative Covid test people can still experience symptoms like Breathlessness, Fatigue, Reduced Mobility, Balance Problems, Headaches, Muscle Weakness, Talking, Cognition, Swallowing, etc. 1 in 3 patients are moderately disabled after Covid-19 hospitalisation.

The consequences of COVID-19 will be specific in each individual and therefore rehabilitation needs will be specific to these consequences such as:

  • Long term ventilation
  • Immobilisation
  • Deconditioning
  • Related impairments – respiratory, neurological, musculoskeletal

This program is for people who are medically cleared and completed the necessary quarantine period recommended by public health and doctor.

Long-COVID or Post- COVID physiotherapy rehabilitation is a crucial component of recovery for individuals who have experienced COVID-19 infection, especially those who have undergone hospitalization or experienced significant symptoms.

Here’s an outline of key aspects of post-COVID physiotherapy rehabilitation:

  1. Assessment and Evaluation: Comprehensive assessment of the patient’s physical function, respiratory status, cardiovascular health, mobility, strength, endurance, and any lingering symptoms related to COVID-19.

Assessment may include pulmonary function tests, oxygen saturation monitoring, cardiovascular assessment, musculoskeletal evaluation, and assessment of activities of daily living (ADLs).

2. Respiratory Rehabilitation:

Focus on improving lung function, respiratory muscle strength, breathing techniques, and clearance of secretions.

Respiratory exercises such as deep breathing exercises, diaphragmatic breathing, incentive spirometry, pursed-lip breathing, and airway clearance techniques.

Gradual progression to cardiovascular exercises to improve respiratory efficiency and endurance.

3. Cardiovascular Conditioning:

Gradual introduction of cardiovascular exercises to improve cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and tolerance to physical activity.

Aerobic exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, and stationary biking are introduced at a low intensity and gradually progressed based on the patient’s tolerance and cardiovascular status.

4. Muscle Strengthening and Endurance Training:

Targeted strengthening exercises to address muscle weakness and deconditioning that may occur following COVID-19 infection and prolonged hospitalization.

Progressive resistance training using body weight, resistance bands, free weights, or weight machines to improve muscle strength, endurance, and functional capacity.

5. Balance and Coordination Training:

Balance exercises, proprioceptive training, and coordination drills to address deficits in balance, postural control, and functional mobility.

Exercises include standing balance drills, single-leg stance, tandem stance, dynamic balance activities, and coordination exercises to improve overall stability and reduce the risk of falls.

6. Pain Management:

Management of musculoskeletal pain, discomfort, and residual symptoms related to COVID-19 infection or prolonged immobility.

Physiotherapy interventions such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, modalities (e.g., heat, cold therapy, ultrasound), and pain-relieving techniques to alleviate pain and improve overall comfort.

7. Functional Rehabilitation:

Focus on restoring independence in activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs).

Training in functional tasks such as walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed, and performing household chores to improve overall functional capacity and promote independence.

8. Education and Self-Management Strategies:

Education on energy conservation techniques, pacing strategies, joint protection techniques, and safe movement principles to empower patients in managing their symptoms and optimizing recovery.

Providing guidance on home exercise programs, self-monitoring of symptoms, and strategies to prevent deconditioning and re-injury.

9. Psychosocial Support:

Addressing the psychological and emotional impact of COVID-19 infection and recovery process.

Providing emotional support, stress management techniques, and resources for coping with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress symptoms to support holistic recovery.

10. Multidisciplinary Collaboration:

Collaboration with other healthcare professionals such as respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, and physicians to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to post-COVID rehabilitation.

Post-COVID physiotherapy rehabilitation aims to promote recovery, restore function, enhance quality of life, and optimize long-term outcomes for individuals affected by COVID-19. The rehabilitation process is individualized based on the patient’s specific needs, goals, and functional abilities, with a focus on holistic care and multidisciplinary collaboration.