The physical presence of the heart is wonderous and deserving of a month of celebration, but the popularity of the spiritual/emotional context of the heart is also painted everywhere in February as the heart has become the official mascot of Valentine’s Day. Décor, cards, candy, movies, and love songs have all adopted the heart as the universal symbol of health, love, compassion, and affection. It is the most recognizable graphic in the world with popularity so great, it often even replaces the word it is meant to represent.
Another recognizable symbol has burst onto the scene this past year for more decidedly unpopular reasons. The bumpy, round ball representing a Covid-19 virus molecule looks more like a spaceship than a silent killer. The Covid-19 molecule is now found as a graphic for every news article written or on television. It is internationally recognized and basically, every bit as unpopular as the symbol of the heart is popular.
So, lets explore the possible outcomes as these two symbols meet up, not just as graphics, but in a real life battle…of good vs. evil?
The graphic depiction of the heart is a cheerful, colorful shape with symmetrical humps on top angling perfectly to a point at the bottom. It really is a far cry from the irregular, dense organ asymmetrically placed in our chest. The heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body to supply nutrients and oxygen to our tissues while removing carbon dioxide and wastes from the blood. Weighing in at a mere 10 oz (give or take) and the size of a human fist, it certainly outworks any other muscle in the body. Its importance is so great that death is certain if the heart is not strong enough to supply blood to all parts of the body.
Being that the heart is at the center of our vitality, it may not be surprising that an aggressive, microscopic pathogen easily transmittable on respiratory droplets or aerosols, chooses to attack it. As the virus attempts to make its way into some of our most important and hardworking cells, the heart initiates an inflammatory response to fight this invading virus and our body becomes a literal battlefield for control over the oxygen supply and demand balance that the heart pumps out to all parts of the body. While many factors affect what happens during this battle including the previous disease state, the number of viral molecules attacking, and the overall health of the immune system, the heart becomes damaged. The level of the damage again depends on the factors listed previously but can be repairable as the human body is nothing short of amazing at repairing and restoring its tissues to health. The heart is no different but may need some help. A Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) is uniquely positioned to give such help in the recovery of Covid-19.
Whether symptoms of Covid-19 are mild or severe, the recovery can find you with shortness of breath, early fatigue, pain, and weakness. And while long term effects of Covid-19 are yet to be determined, even more concerning may be the increased risk of heart disease or stroke in the future. The great news is, that the risk of long-term effects can be reduced by establishing an exercise and recovery program, with specifically guided exercises and strengthening moves to stimulate the cell repair process in the body. Skilled visceral manipulation techniques to reduce stress/strain on the heart, lungs, kidney, and any other organs struggling to recover from the Covid-19 or any virus, a DPT helps facilitate the healing from Covid-19.
But what if you have avoided Covid-19? You don’t’ need to worry about any heart issues then, right? Wrong! At the very least, many of us have experienced deconditioning from inactivity due to stay in place orders, social distancing, and being unable to make it to regular check-ups or needed appointments. Or maybe it is just the stress that has led to depression and decreased quality of life.
Post-Covid-19 programs are just like any program at Apex that takes an individualized approach to get you back to your normal life and prevent long-term effects.
As the battle of the heart vs. the Covid-19 ball continues throughout the world, let us do all that we can to help the good persevere over evil. Let reading this article be your call to action to protect and strengthen your heart.
Our team of DPT’s are trained, equipped, and eager to help your heart recover from the evil attack of Covid-19.
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