By: Brandon Stanley PT, DPT, Cert. DN
COVID-19 has affected the lives of numerous individuals since its arrival in the United States. Most individuals have recovered from their COVID-19 symptoms. However, there is a small group of individuals still experiencing the effects of Covid-19 beyond the current timeframe for symptoms. That small group of individuals have been diagnosed with PASC (post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2). PASC is also termed COVID "long haulers" or Long COVID. It is estimated that nearly 10% of all COVID cases will experience Long COVID. Long COVID can affect anyone regardless of whether they have had a mild or severe case.
The research on Long COVID is continuously evolving. Each patient case has shown to be variable in symptoms and severity. Common symptoms noted by researchers are fatigue/weakness, body aches, shortness of breath, trouble concentrating, headaches, muscle/joint pain, low endurance/inability to exercise, poor sleeping tolerance, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety/depression, and memory changes.
Physical therapists can help survivors of COVID-19 by treating the effects of PASC. The main goals for rehabilitation are:
- Limiting the severity of complications
- Restoring muscle strength
- Reducing fatigue
- Improving lung function
- Returning the patient to independence
Physical therapists can recommend activities that people with Long COVID such as low intensity stretches to improve range of motion, strengthening exercises for the lower extremities and balance training to reduce fall risk. Physical activity can reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. Post-exertional malaise (PEM) can be prevented when safe physical activity is performed within the patient's energy levels.
At Professional Rehabilitation Services, we treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions using the latest in evidence-based therapies provided by highly credentialed physical therapists. Professional Rehabilitation Services has eight convenient locations in Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, Market Common, Myrtle Beach, Carolina Forest, Conway, Little River and Longs.
For further information on this or other related topics you can contact Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP at Professional Rehabilitation Services (Myrtle Beach) (843) 839-1300, Brian P. Kinmartin PT, DPT, MTC, STC, OCS, CWcHP (Pawleys Island) (843) 235-0200, Richard A. Owens, MPT, OCS, Cert. SMT, CWcHP (Surfside) (843) 831-0163, Jill P. Phelan, PT, DPT, Cert. DN (Conway) (843) 773-3031, Lisa O'Brien, PT, DPT, Cert. DN (Murrells Inlet) (843) 314-3224, Karl Ehlers, PT, DPT, Cert. DN (Little River) (843) 281-4222, Samantha Crisafulli PT, DPT (Carolina Forest) (843) 282-0440, Zach Daniels PT, DPT (Market Commons) (843) 213-6338, Brandon Stanley, PT, DPT (Longs) (843) 491-0388 or visit our website at www.prsrehabservices.com where you can learn more about the company and even download a referral form for your physician to fill out. You can also call and schedule a free 15-minute consultation.