Role of Physiotherapists Against COVID-19
At the beginning of 2020, a new SARS virus confronted us, SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. The virus spread quickly, and the Coronavirus disease rapidly developed into a pandemic.
There are steady reports of the medical struggle to save the lives of Covid patients. Among the reports, it becomes obvious the task is a marathon and not a sprint, with no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment and recovery. Physiotherapists are among those in it for the immediate and then longer haul.
The physiotherapist can play a crucial role in the rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19 who experience limitations in daily physical functioning.” The statement, which was first released in May 2020, can be found on the WCPT website as part of their 2020 World PT Day information resources.
There are some people who get Covid-19 and are asymptomatic. Others show mild effects. And some have more severe reactions requiring hospital treatment.
Those patients may need just a helping hand to get them through. But some will need intensive care, or even be placed in induced comas.
In such cases, even defeating the virus may not mean a steady road ahead without long rehabilitation.
Let’s think about individuals whose lungs were aided by mechanical ventilators. Or the people coming out of comas to take their first steps after days - or weeks.
Long Covid happens when the individual has the presence of infection for 12 weeks or more. It is a multi-system disease; there are over 200 listed symptoms that occur in variable combinations and can fluctuate in both predictable and unpredictable patterns of flare-up and remissions.
As per WHO guidelines, physiotherapy can play an important role in the rehabilitation of patients with Covid to improve lung function and oxygen saturation levels, apart from other symptoms. “Since there is an infection in the lung, there will be respiratory distress. So we are training the lung muscles to become strong. In Covid-19 patients, the air will not go to the lower end of the lung. Physiotherapy exercises to improve lung function helps air goes deep into the lungs more easily,”
Physiotherapists will look at your internal as well as external parameters as we make tailor-made exercises for each individual.
Pacing and heart rate monitoring
Dr. Hulsha Paudyal (PT)