The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people fatigued emotionally and physically. America has accumulated 25% of the world’s known COVID cases, with nearly 25 million Americans diagnosed and more than 400,000 dead. There are still thousands of patients who have recovered but are still living with symptoms that are difficult to alleviate, such as fatigue.
While this pandemic is quite a life-changing event for all of us, it has also affected different systems in the human body, including the respiratory, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems. Initially, many experts thought the virus mainly affects the respiratory system, with one of its symptoms involving problems with breathing. However, it has become clear that this condition attacks many other bodily systems, including our heart and muscles.
Recovery time has become a long road ahead for those who suffer through this illness. However, physical therapy can potentially expedite that process. Let’s examine how engaging in therapy can strengthen your body from COVID-19 fatigue.
You can make an appointment with our physical therapists here at Cawley Physical Therapy right now to get started!
PT and Post-COVID-19 Recovery
Because COVID-19 can affect the body in various ways, physical therapy can be an effective way to restore the body’s strength and deconditioned muscles.
Some people who recover from COVID-19 may need physical rehab to help them resume normal activities. Physical therapy helps patients to move their muscles more and build up their stamina. Some of the best physical therapy activities will help build up a patient’s endurance, strength, and balance. Some examples of these activities include:
- Biking, treadmill, and circuit exercises to build endurance for the heart and lungs.
- Bodyweight exercises, weights, bands, and machines to restore strength for functional mobility.
- Balance training with obstacles and dynamic surfaces.
Physical therapy could also help lower the patient’s risk of mental health conditions due to limited mobility.
What You Can Expect from a Physical Therapy Session
When going to a physical therapist, you can expect to be treated effectively no matter what stage of the treatment process you’re in. Some people utilize physical therapy as a standalone treatment or as a treatment that supports other treatments.
Furthermore, some patients can be referred to a specialist from a patient’s primary care doctor. When going to a physical therapy session, you can expect the following things to happen:
- Undergoing a physical exam and evaluation.
- Receive a diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of care.
- Physical therapy treatment based on the patient’s diagnosis.
- Self-management or recommended exercises from the therapist the patient can do at home.
The physical therapist may train the patient on how to perform these exercises to stave off muscle weakness.
Why Physical Therapy Over Gym Exercises?
You probably may ask, “How come I can’t just go to the gym to recover my body from COVID-19 fatigue?” There are various benefits to choosing physical therapy over just going to the gym.
Many people with a long case of illness report that exercise can temporarily worsen their symptoms. This condition is known as post-exertional malaise or PEM. This is why many doctors are being advised not to use graded exercise therapy to treat patients who suffer from long COVID-19.
Additionally, physical therapy is more appropriate for those who have experienced the serious damage that this illness causes. Other reasons why physical therapy is recommended over going to the gym include:
- Potential risks of improper training when opting for gym exercises.
- Must keep in mind things that need to be monitored: heart rate, blood pressure, etc.
Patients must stop exercising if they feel their symptoms starting to worsen. They must carefully pace themselves to avoid PEM or other injuries.
Turn to Physical Therapy for COVID-19 Recovery
When a person endures through COVID-19, many of their bodily systems–including their respiratory, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems–become impacted. A good physical therapist can work with you in restoring your muscular strength and building your endurance in your heart and lungs.
Contact Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehab at 570-208-2787 to schedule an appointment today, and let us start helping you to recover.