Long COVID and Physical Therapy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults who have had COVID-19 experience long COVID, which includes symptoms that last weeks, months, or even longer after the initial diagnosis.

Symptoms of long COVID can go away and come back again. They may include extreme tiredness and fatigue, muscle aches and pains, brain fog, shortness of breath, headaches, and sleep problems. People who have had severe COVID-19 are more likely to get long COVID, but it also can affect those who experienced mild symptoms. Long COVID doesn’t impact everyone the same way.

Physical therapy can help individuals manage long COVID symptoms through:

  • Development of a personalized care plan – Physical therapists monitor exertion and prescribe movements to help patients safely progress to reaching their individualized goals.
  • Safe movements – Therapeutic movements are prescribed based upon each patient’s symptoms and body responses. Physical therapists monitor oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood pressure during the activities to ensure safety.
  • Continued Education – Patient and family education is provided to allow a patient’s continued, safe recovery while at home.

The length and duration of your rehabilitation treatment will depend upon the severity of your injury and the responsiveness to treatments such as physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

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