Dr. Peter Nguyen is a physical therapist, fitness instructor, and health consultant with MovementX in Orange County, CA.
For those impacted by the virus SARS-CoV-2, the effects can be life-changing.
Although we do not yet know all of the medical complications that can happen to each individual as a result of infection, more and more studies are being published on the best course of treatment to help those that still experience negative effects of long COVID syndrome.
As additional scientific research and guidelines continue to emerge, we will continue to refine and better focus the physical therapy treatment approaches and strategies described in this article.
Currently, here’s what we know about how in-home physical therapy can optimize your recovery after COVID.
What is Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)?
The virus SARS-CoV2 and its subsequent variants are spread easily by humans and can cause mild to severe respiratory and cognitive symptoms upon infection, including lack of smell, brain fog, and headaches.
Most individuals recover completely, but others can continue to be affected by negative complications for weeks, months, or even years after recovery.
Known commonly as long COVID, the condition of Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) is characterized by persistent COVID-19 symptoms well beyond the initial infection and recovery.
What are the symptoms of Long COVID or PASC?
The symptoms typically associated with PASC include:
Headaches and/or fatigue
Muscle, joint pain, or body aches
Cognitive impairment affecting memory or concentration (brain fog)
Respiratory distress or strain
Post-ventilator diminished lung capacity
Severe deconditioning from extensive bed rest
POTS (post orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)
After more severe cases of COVID infection, there can be additional complications:
How Can Working With a Physical Therapist Help Long COVID or PASC?
Complications from PASC can persist for months or even years if left untreated. These effects impose physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges on individuals and their families. Physical therapy plays a critical role in helping those with long COVID recover and restore their prior level of function and quality of life.
At MovementX, our team of nationwide physical therapists is striving to provide safe, convenient, and effective physical rehabilitation services for those experiencing long COVID symptoms. After an individualized assessment of your symptoms, goals, and health history, here are the many research-backed treatment methods you may work on with your physical therapist…
Designing a gradually-paced exercise training and conditioning program
Breathing retraining and assisted diaphragmatic breathing
Posture assessment and correction
Manual therapy to mobilize your spine and ribs
Balance training and body awareness
Soft tissue mobilization of tight musculature in the neck and shoulder girdle
Manual lymph drainage and taping
Improve functional strength capacity for your everyday activities
What are the Benefits of In-Home PT?
Like with other long-term conditions with neurological considerations, patients with PASC may find the most comfortable place to start physical therapy care is right in their own home.
Patients with poor lung capacity and low activity tolerance may find it difficult to travel to an outpatient clinic. By meeting you at your home, mobile physical therapists at MovementX can provide a more convenient, accessible, and more personalized rehab experience. With flexible scheduling and the option to continue virtually, this style of care can ultimately reach people who would otherwise be unable to receive rehabilitative treatment.
How can I start In-Home Physical Therapy for PASC?
First, we recommend making a list of all of your lingering symptoms, including their severity, and scheduling an appointment with your physician. They will be able to help you obtain the best resources to treat your PASC symptoms, including recommending physical therapist services.
There are many types of physical therapy specialists you may choose from, including cardiopulmonary PT specialists to address long-term breathing issues and neurologic PT specialists for vertigo, brain fog, and headache treatment.
If you have questions or are ready to begin physical therapy treatment at home today, give us a call or request a session today. Our team of PT specialists offer both in-person and virtual physical therapy services to help you along your road to recovery after COVID.
About the Author
Dr. Peter Nguyen is a physical therapist, fitness instructor, and health consultant with MovementX in Orange County, CA. He specializes in the treatment of headaches and migraines, rehabilitation after a stroke, and the management of chronic pain. Dr. Nguyen also enjoys helping older adults stay strong and healthy. He also serves as a health equity advocate ensuring quality care is delivered to underserved populations in the community.
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