The vast majority of people infected have completely recovered from COVID-19. For certain survivors, however, side effects or symptoms of the illness might linger for weeks together or even months past what is thought of as the "normal" course of recovery. Such individuals have been called COVID "long-haulers," which has led to the coining of the term “long COVID”. It is estimated by the researchers that around 10% of COVID-19 patients become long haulers.
After continuous research, the condition is now called Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 or PASC in short
Let’s break that down:
● Acute care is secondary health care where a patient receives active but short-term treatment for an illness or condition. "Post-acute" refers to the treatment phase when someone returns home after being taken care of in a rehabilitation center or a hospital.
● Sequelae are the consequences or side effects of an injury or disease that has happened in the past.
● SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that is responsible for causing COVID-19
The lingering symptoms of COVID-19 that "long-haulers" face, in simple terms is referred to as PASC. An important attribute of Long Covid is that it is unpredictable and the research in the space is developing. Side effects, and their severity, change from one individual to another.
Some of the most common symptoms of Long Covid that last long may include but are not limited to:
● Anxiety or depression.
● Sleep problems.
● Gastrointestinal symptoms.
● Trouble concentrating.
● Body aches.
● Shortness of breath.
● Poor endurance or no ability to exercise.
● Muscle or joint pain.
● Brain fog or memory issues.
● Fatigue or weakness.
● Fast or pounding heartbeat.
Patient-led surveys have led to the reporting of another symptom called post-exertional malaise. PEM refers to the aggravation of symptoms after indulging in physical or mental activities. This often varies from person to person. A daily activity that is a norm today may worsen symptoms the next day. A physical therapist can help monitor a patient’s response to different exercises to make sure that the treatment is not causing PEM or making the symptoms worse.
During and following exertion, if the symptoms are managed for a person's energy level then adding additional physical activity can be considered safe.
Dealing with Long COVID may also include other health complications that may require imaging, tests, or labs before being sent to the physical therapist for further evaluation and treatment tailored to your specific condition.
Physical therapists and their assistants help people deal with Long Covid by treating the effects of PASC. They may suggest strength and balance training along with low-intensity stretches to help in improving the range of motion, simple activities that people with long COVID can do at home. The aim of undergoing physical therapy is to improve your stamina, strength, and quality of life.
If you feel the above information has helped you understand the importance of physical therapy to help ease Long Covid symptoms. Then you can contact our expert physical therapist at 1 Health directly for an evaluation at (Phone number)