Physical Therapy and Pulmonary Rehabilitation In COVID-19 Symptom Recovery

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By Dr. Chris Brehm, PT, DPT

As the number of COVID-19 patients in recovery increases, so has the number of people who need physical therapy.  According to a recent study in the Journal of Rehabilitation Management, twenty percent of patients recovering from COVID-19 will require facility based rehabilitation. While patients with mild cases of COVID-19 recover within two weeks, those with more severe disease courses may take 6 weeks or longer to recover, with more complications including muscle weakness, loss of endurance, joint problems, heart and lung problems and decreased physical functioning.  Extended stays in ICU may cause muscle weakness and patients may lose up to 9% muscle mass after just 3 days in the ICU. 

Patients recovering from moderate to severe COVID-19 are in need of rehabilitative interventions following hospital admission.  At Lifeline Physical Therapy and Pulmonary Rehabilitation we will provide assessments that focus on symptoms as well as physical and psychological function for people who were hospitalized with COVID-19. Early rehabilitation can enhance pulmonary/respiratory function, reduce complications, and improve function and quality of life.  Not only is regaining physical function important for recovering patients, improving respiratory health is also important.

At Lifeline, our multi-disciplinary staff which includes physical therapists, respiratory therapists, and a social worker plays a critical role in the management of people recovering from COVID-19.  The benefits of physical therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation are well documented.  Lifeline addresses all of the patient’s impairments through a comprehensive treatment program that enables patients recovering from COVID-19 to return to their normal life, work routine, and daily and leisure activities.  We help you gain understanding and improve your confidence which leads to independence.

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