Getting Back to Normal: Physical Therapy Post COVID-19
Once a patient no longer has the coronavirus, their journey is not over. Physical therapy post COVID-19 is a key component to help patients manage lingering symptoms, manage pain and regain their physical abilities after the illness.
The Sooner, The Better. Physical Therapy Can Help Improve Mobility at Discharge, Study Says
Patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 may receive limited therapy services, but a new study gives insight to the benefits of additional physical therapy interventions. According to a recent study published in Physical Therapy: Frequency of Physical Therapist Intervention Is Associated With Mobility Status and Disposition at Hospital Discharge for Patients With COVID-19, researchers found that every additional 10 minutes of physical therapy was associated with improved mobility at discharge and higher probability of discharging at home with increased frequency and longer mean duration of physical therapy visits.
In fact, the more physical therapist interventions a patient gets while admitted to the hospital for treatment of COVID-19, the better their outcomes at discharge.
Post COVID-19 Physical Therapy Addresses Long-Lasting Symptoms
While 81% of people experience mild to moderate illness and recover without treatment, 14% develop severe symptoms that can last several weeks or months.
When discharged, some post-COVID-19 patients will continue to need therapy that addresses lingering symptoms. For weeks or even months, these “long-haulers” often experience fatigue, muscle aches, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, inability to be active, headaches, difficulty sleeping, persistent chest pain, and more. In fact, A study published in JAMA Network found that 87% of patients who had recovered from COVID-19 reported at least one lingering symptom, notably fatigue and trouble breathing.
Physical therapy can help these individuals resume normal activities following periods of prolonged isolation or staying in the hospital. According to a 2020 review, physical therapy for those recovering from COVID-19 aims to:
- restore function to the muscles
- reduce the likelihood of mental health conditions that may occur as a result of limited mobility
- enable people to return to their normal lives
There is also strong evidence, per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that supports how physical activity can help to improve or maintain cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone and functional health, and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases, depression, and cognitive decline.
Post-COVID Physical Therapy at Twin Boro
Although long-term implications of the virus are still being studied, it’s still very important to establish early intervention exercise and therapy programs to mitigate symptoms and improve well-being. Physical Therapy might very well be a key strategy to reduce the long lasting impacts of COVID-19.
At Twin Boro, our post-COVID-19 physical therapy programs are designed to address the unique needs of each patient and provide the treatment required to help patients return to previously functioning roles for home, work and social.
Our licensed therapists are prepared to discuss the best care pathway for patients based on their conditions and symptoms which may include: stretching and mobilization exercises, tracheostomy management, improving lung capacity, pain management, muscular strengthening and getting back to their normal life in the safest way possible.
If you’re recovering from COVID or you need help to manage other aches and pains, reach out to one of our NJ clinics today. To locate the closest physical therapy clinic near you, visit the Twin Boro Find a Location directory to search by your zip code. Telehealth services are also available at all of our practices in New Jersey to allow patients to receive treatment in the comfort of their own home.