If you’ve tested positive or suspect you may have had COVID-19, you may still have strange and unexpected symptoms weeks, even months later. This is called ‘long Covid’.
Long Covid is a new medical term and is defined as not recovering for several weeks or months following the start of symptoms that were suggestive of Covid.
What symptom is normally at the top of the list?
It’s very debilitating, but it’s the most common symptom of Long COVID. Your physiotherapist can help you pace and manage life with fatigue.
Other symptoms which are high on the list?
Muscle or joint pain; body aches
Long COVID often causes pain that you can’t account for. Your physiotherapist knows a lot about managing pain, and can gently help you cope.
This pain could either be in the lungs or feel like it’s affecting the heart. Your physiotherapist knows how to assess if this is a Long COVID symptom, and help you understand, cope, and get treatment.
Fatigue after exertion
If you crash after exerting yourself, even slightly, you may need help from your physiotherapist to help you pace and manage life with Long COVID ‘post-exertional malaise’.
There is nothing worse than struggling to breathe, and it’s common in Long COVID. Your physiotherapist can teach you to breathe properly and help strengthen your breathing muscles.
Not surprising that someone with Long COVID feels anxious! Your physiotherapist can help you with relaxation techniques, breathing, and very gentle, paced movement.
Other possible symptoms?
Irregular or rapid heartbeat
COVID-19 can attack the nervous system, and tachycardia (often on sitting or standing) may be a Long COVID symptom. Talk to your physiotherapist for advice and any necessary referrals.
COVID-19 can affect the autonomous nervous system, which may cause constipation or diarrhea. Your physiotherapist can help you understand if this is part of Long COVID and refer you if necessary.
You can’t concentrate or focus. Your physiotherapist is your point-person; have a chat and ask if you need to see a specialist, and if so, who.
Long COVID sufferers will testify it’s not easy to live with this symptom. Your physiotherapist can give you some essential tips that will keep it from taking over your life.
MBW Physios has been keeping up to date with the latest research on COVID. We can assist with your post COVID rehabilitation.
Credit to Paul Simon and the South African Society of Physiotherapy.