• January 27, 2022
 After COVID-19, patient’s long road to recovery includes physical therapy

Dr. Sara Tano and a Patient | Photo courtesy author

After COVID-19, patient’s long road to recovery includes physical therapy

Fighting and overcoming Covid 19 is difficult for many. Even after winning the fight, so many still deal with lingering health complications.

Dr. Parul Haribhai, founder and Doctor of Physical Therapy, says the clinic is seeing and educating the providers on two things from post-corona patients.

Coronavirus patients, after no longer being contagious or exhibiting symptoms, are very weak. Additionally, these patients are now suffering from PICS, or post intensive care syndrome.

“Their lung capacity has reduced and they are short of breath. Those patients that used to be able to walk unlimited distances or short community distances can now only walk a few feet or household distances only,” Dr. Haribhai shares.

Most patients report feeling debilitating weakness. These patients are often at a risk of falling because their balance and gait has been compromised.

Much of the reported weakness is from being in a hospital or home bed for such a long period of time.

Many people with COVID-19 received care, were admitted to an inpatient hospital, and were bed-bound for a certain period of time. Some people are admitted for two weeks; others are admitted for several months.

“Bodies decondition. Muscles atrophy every day when they are not being used. A few patients have shared not knowing about needing physical therapy once they are discharged, or have overcome the virus at home,” Dr. Haribhai adds.

Physical Therapy helps patients with issues such as recovering basic strength, the ability to walk again, and perform simple personal and household tasks.  They can also work on the ability to bend over without losing balance, or falling.

Above all, the patients are at risk for continuing muscular and respiratory issues, which can lead to mental health issues as well, according to Haribhai.

There is also the lingering fear of COVID-19, which may keep them from the therapy sessions.

Some people are afraid of contradicting the virus again. They prefer not to seek additional treatment for this reason.

Keeping in mind the coronavirus, Dr. Haribhai says they take “sanitizing seriously.”

“We clean after every use of a machine or table-top, after every exercise. And we ask that patients wash their hands upon entering the clinic,” Dr. Haribhai said.

Above all, the patients need to be exercising, moving around and slowly building strength and building up their core and muscles. Medical professionals advise that these recovering patients are in a supervised setting. It’s not recommended for them to go to a gym to exercise without an expert guiding them.

Monica Riehl

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