More than two years ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and the US entered a state of national emergency. Unfortunately, the coronavirus is still top of mind for many people. Today, we’re answering a few common questions we get from patients hoping to prevent, manage, and recover from COVID-19 through physical therapy.
Can physical therapy reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes?
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, those who engage in little or no physical activity or exercise are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than those who are physically active. If pain or movement problems keep you from engaging in physical activity, physical therapy can help you get back to the activities you love.
Regular physical activity can also lower your stress levels, improve your sleep, and decrease your risk for developing/worsening many chronic conditions—all critical for building resilience against COVID-19. Research is still evolving, but we believe that physical therapy can benefit nearly everybody.
Does physical therapy help with long COVID recovery?
What the National Institute of Health (NIH) now refers to as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (or PASC), long COVID affects about 10% of COVID-19 patients. It can impact anybody—from patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 to those displaying mild symptoms. These extended symptoms typically last between one to six months after testing positive for the virus.
If you suspect that you are experiencing symptoms of long COVID, contact your primary care doctor for further evaluation. If you’re looking for strategies for managing the effects of PASC (like decreased aerobic tolerance), physical therapy can support your healing.
One recent study found that participating in biweekly physical therapy sessions for eight weeks helped patients with post-COVID syndromes improve muscle strength, physical function, and exercise capacity. It also found that quality of life and PTSD scores did not improve through physical therapy intervention, so it’s important to seek a well-rounded treatment plan.
If you’re a physical therapist curious to learn more about how to recognize and manage PASC, this resource can help.
How can Luna help provide healing post pandemic?
Luna is an ideal service model for anyone in need of physical therapy during the pandemic. Whether you’re in the high-risk category or concerned about potential exposure to COVID-19 at traditional clinics, Luna is here to provide a safe and effective alternative.
With on-demand physical therapy, you can heal at home with in-person physical therapy delivered right to your door. You can learn more here about how Luna is helping patients recover after COVID-19. And, if you’re ready, book an on-demand PT appointment today.