Fighting COVID-19 with physical therapy

Some people who’ve survived the coronavirus may have an entirely new health battle to fight.

Posted: Apr 21, 2020 5:39 PM
Updated: Apr 21, 2020 5:48 PM

Patients who’ve survived COVID 19 may have a new battle to contend with. Post Intensive Care Syndrome is a culmination of the physical and mental battles that continue after a patient has experienced trauma. . Jim Smith is a Professor of the Physical Therapy Department at Utica College. He says the patients aren’t the only ones who are affected.

"We’re going to see people coming back from the hospital after experiencing COVID 19, and they’re going to have these physical problems. That’s a burden not just on them, but on their family."

Post Intensive Care Syndrome is being seen in a wide range of patients.

"We’re not just talking about older people. We see a lot of younger people in this country experiencing critical illness, and landing in the Intensive Care Unit. So we’re talking about people who are in their 20’s, in their 40’s who have difficulties returning to work."

It may not be the kind of injury that’s visibly apparent, but health care providers may advise you to walk it off.

"Going out for walks. You’re going to improve the functions and performance of your heart, of your lungs, of your muscle-skeletal system, and so you’re showing up to the battle with COVID 19 healthier than those who aren’t doing those things. So give yourself that advantage."

Walking is one of the easiest ways for people of all ages to not only battlell COVID 19 symptoms, but possibly prevent Post Intensive Care Syndrome, however it's not a cure-all for symptoms. Always seek professional help from your doctor and physical therapist before starting any program. 

"Physical activity and exercise reduces the risk of psycho-emotional problems like depression, so right off the bat become active. If you haven’t been active, getting active is going to help with some of those distressors, and it’s going to give you a better foundation."

So get out and go for a walk. It may just be the Physical Therapy you need to stay healthy. Just remember to keep your social distance.

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