By Dr. Tarun Lala (PT) in Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Medicine

Sep 08 , 2021 | 1 min read


Long COVID is an emerging condition that can be severely disabling, impacting people regardless of hospitalization or severity of acute COVID-19.

Safe and effective rehabilitation is a fundamental part of recovery from Long COVID and can improve function in people living with disability.

Rehabilitation is highly person - cantered and goal-oriented, meaning that the interventions and approaches selected are tailored to an individual depending on their symptoms, goals and preferences. Physical activity (including exercise or sport) is a rehabilitation intervention, often used in conjunction with other approaches, for Long COVID, to enhance function and well being.

Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure. Physical activity of all forms might benefit some people living with Long COVID, but could be contraindicated or exacerbate symptoms in others. Using a cautious approach to physical activity will likely support longer-term recovery. 

Physiotherapists can play an important role in the rehabilitation of people living with Long COVID, to balance activities with rest to optimize recovery, and consider other factors important in symptom management beyond solely physical activity.

Exercise therapy used to treat health conditions can be broadly categorized into aerobic, resistance, combined aerobic and resistance, and condition-specific exercises used to target specific functional impairments, such as stretches or balance training.

For people with moderate to severe symptoms, it is advisable to do the rehabilitation under physiotherapist supervision either in person or through telerehabilitation which is considered a safe and effective way to guide them in assessment and treatment, minimizing the risk of disease transmission. It also helps maintain continuity of treatment without any interruption during pandemic.

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