Long COVID is an emerging health condition that occurs following an acute infection of COVID-19 that can occur in both hospitalized or non-hospitalized clients, and even in those who had a mild initial infection. At least 10-30% of clients will continue to have symptoms 12 weeks after their acute infection. Long COVID affects multiple body systems and can include impairments of multiple body systems including the respiratory, cardiac, renal, endocrine and neurological systems.
What you need to know about Long Covid
- Signs & Symptoms can vary greatly among patients and also fluctuate or change over time affecting multiple body systems.
- Management of Long COVID requires a multidisciplinary approach.
- Rehabilitation for Long COVID must be tailored to the individual, depending on their symptoms, goals and preferences.
After contracting COVID-19, many people will start to feel better in a few weeks. Unfortunately, some people take a lot longer to get better and have ongoing or new symptoms afterwards. These symptoms can change, come and go, or fluctuate over time. Healthcare professionals around the world have yet to establish a consensus definition for these post-COVID-19 symptoms. For the purposes of consistency this article will refer to the long term consequences of COVID-19 as “Long COVID”. Other common names include; “Long-Haul Covid” and “Long Haulers” “Post COVID-19 Condition”, “Post-COVID-19 Syndrome”, “Post-COVID Syndrome”, “Post-Acute COVID-19”, and “Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome“
People present with clusters of overlapping symptoms such as fatigue or exhaustion, chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, headache, and cognitive dysfunction. Long COVID can be multi-dimensional, spanning symptoms and impairments, activity limitations and social participation restrictions. Long COVID may also be experienced as episodic and unpredictable in nature, with symptoms fluctuating and changing over time.
Management of Long COVID
Long COVID impacts people’s functional ability, social and family life, ability to work, and quality of life. Dealing with such complexity requires a multidisciplinary approach and patients’ involvement.
- Speak to your Family Doctor regarding your Long COVID symptoms
- Rule out RED FLAGS or other diagnosis
- Ensure your Family Doctor clears you to start seeing a Physiotherapist and participate in light physical activity.
The World Health Organization recommends…
…that Long COVID rehabilitation should include educating people about resuming everyday activities conservatively, at an appropriate pace that is safe and manageable for energy levels within the limits of current symptoms, and exertion should not be pushed to the point of fatigue or worsening of symptoms.
How can LiquidGym help?
Rehabilitation for Long COVID must be tailored to the individual, depending on their symptoms, goals and preferences.
At LiquidGym our team of Therapists will take you through a comprehensive evaluation to determine the optimal rehabilitation plan for you and if needed recommend other Healthcare practitioners to assist in your recovery.
Regardless of the symptoms you experience, your physiotherapist will treat you as an individual and get to know the underlying cause before starting treatment.
Effective rehabilitation interventions to support self-management of symptoms may include:
Heart Rate/Oxygen Saturation Monitoring
Our Therapists at LiquidGym can play an important role in the rehabilitation of people living with Long COVID, to balance activities with rest to optimise recovery, and consider other factors important in symptom management beyond solely physical activity.
Treatments will also focus on other long term impacts including psychosocial needs, spiritual well-being and community re-engagement.
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- Government of Canada’s Public Health Website for Health Professionals: Post COVID-19
- Rehabilitation Advice Line – Support for Long COVID: Building awareness around the existence and purpose of the Rehabilitation Advice Line (RAL) and how it can support patients and providers who are dealing with long COVID.
- Alberta Health Services. COVID-19 Recovery & Rehabilitation After COVID-19: Resources for Health Professionals. (December 22, 2021)
Retrieved from; http://albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17540.aspx
- Long Covid Physio. Long Covid. (December 22, 2021). Retrieved from; https://longcovid.physio/longcovid
- World Health Organization(WHO). Rehabilitation needs of people recovering from COVID-19. WHO reference number: WHO/2019-nCoV/Sci_Brief/Rehabilitation/2021.1