BROOKE ERSTAD PT, DPT, CAPP, WCS
Brooke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physical Therapy Helps Lingering COVID-19 Symptoms
COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way throughout the past 8+ months.
This novel virus, known as SARS-CoV2 or COVID-19, is new and strange, without patterns that medical personnel and scientists typically expect. The unpredictability of the disease and immense range and severity of symptoms exhaust the body’s immune response leading to lengthy internal battles and possible hospitalization. Once the body’s immune system reaches a point of recovery from the active disease process, there is still a unique challenge to manage the ongoing inflammation and repair process within the affected systems of the body. Aiding the body in the healing during the post-COVID period fits perfectly into the scope of physical therapy. Doctor’s of Physical Therapy (DPT’s) are movement experts equipped with knowledge and skills to help facilitate the repair process inside the body while improving strength and stamina to return post-COVID patients to their healthy state.
While COVID-19 recovery is new and protocols for recovery are still developing, the concept of DPT’s helping in recovery of the body is not new. Whether recovering from illness, injury, surgery, or any other condition- with or without hospitalization-requires highly specialized training in assisting the immune response, building strength, stamina, balance, and safe movements, and helping your body systems function better.
At Apex, all our DPT’s are highly equipped with specialized skills needed in post-COVID recovery.
Not only do our Apex DPT’s have advanced knowledge in controlling inflammation, safely restoring balance and neurological input from the body to the brain, and improving overall muscle strength and endurance, but all our Apex DPT’s have additional training in Visceral Manipulation to help assist the body’s organs to function optimally and improve any long term-effects the organ has suffered from fighting COVID-19.
So, let’s take a peek at a few of the organs and systems commonly affected by COVID-19.
The nervous system is commonly affected by COVID-19, but how the virus attacks nerve cells is a bit of a mystery. Neurological complaints of headaches, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and “brain fog,” or loss of taste and smell. DPT’s have a variety of tools to help reduce stress on the nerves to bring messages to the brain faster.
The cardiac system, also known as your heart and lungs are also affected by COVID-19. Underlying conditions and overall state of health play a big role in the severity of symptoms in the cardiopulmonary system. Symptoms that may indicate heart or lung involvement include shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations, cough, developing pneumonia, general fatigue and weakness. Many of these symptoms can be very dangerous and patients should be cleared by their physician to begin treating lingering symptoms post-COVID-19. Once cleared, physical therapy can begin to work on assisting the lungs with clearing fluids and begin to improve strength and stamina.
The digestive system is also important to look at post-COVID-19 because of it’s role in helping to keep a healthy immune response and because the virus is known to cause blood clots that can stress the bowels. Another common symptom of COVID-19 is losing taste, which can make the desire to consume healthy foods difficult. A healthy diet is needed to fuel the body’s immune response to fight COVID-19. At Apex, our DPT’s often treat digestive dysfunctions successfully using visceral manipulation as well as breathing, pelvic floor, and abdominal strengthening techniques to keep a healthy gut.
Even the urinary system is affected by COVID-19. Kidney cells have receptors that the virus likes to attack leading to oxygen deprivation and possible blood clots. Hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease can worsen after COVID-19, but the bladder can also be affected with leaking occurring from chronic coughing, poor breathing mechanics, and weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Apex has the area’s most highly trained DPT’s to treat urinary and pelvic conditions.
These are just a few of the systems affected by COVID-19. We learn more about this mysterious new disease every day, but DPT’s are well-positioned to help return those that have overcome COVID-19 to a healthy, active lifestyle.
For more information on our Apex Post COVID Treatments at Apex Physical Therapy & Wellness Center call to schedule an appointment at any of our three locations.
BROOKE ERSTAD PT, DPT, CAPP, WCS