Long Covid (Post Covid Syndrome) Rehabilitation & Recovery
Long Covid can affect anyone who has had COVID-19, when symptoms last beyond 12 weeks. According to the World Health Organization, one in ten people experience persistent ill health 12 weeks after having Covid-19. The severity of a person’s acute Covid-19 symptoms is not a predictor for developing Long Covid.
The pathophysiology of Long Covid is not yet clear, but remains an emerging picture as research findings regarding rehabilitation are published. It is possible that as our understanding develops, our approaches to managing Long Covid may evolve.
The symptoms associated with Long Covid are many and varied. They include, but are not limited to:
- Fatigue or malaise
- Breathlessness and Breathing Pattern Disorders
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Headache and brain fog
- Gastrointestinal dysfunction
- Neurological symptoms
- Skin disturbances
- Loss of smell and taste
Long Covid recovery is variable and unpredictable. It impacts upon multiple body systems and both symptom presentation and recovery time vary widely between individuals. Previous Coronavirus outbreaks, SARS (2002) and MERS (2012) highlighted that some patients had ongoing rehabilitation needs for one to two years and that a multi-system-approach, rather than a single respiratory or neurological management approach was needed.’
Contact us now to start on your road to recovery!
Post Exertional Malaise (PEM) & Post Exertional Eymptom Exacerbation (PESE)
Fatigue is a common symptom of a viral infection such as Covid-19 and for many people this will steadily improve as the acute infection resolves. It is not unusual for a person to feel weaker after Covid-19 infection, particularly if they were bedbound or had limited exercise whilst recovering from the acute infection.
Some Long Covid patients however develop Post Exertional Malaise (PEM), a sense of overwhelming fatigue or Post Exertional Syndrome Exacerbation (PESE). Together, these can be summarised as an atypical and disproportionate response to physical, cognitive or emotional exertion which can occur up to a few days after a triggering activity; which worsens some or all of a person’s symptoms, results in a significant loss of functional capacity and is not improved by a good night’s sleep.
Physiotherapy can help Long Covid rehabilitation & recovery!
Recovery from PEM and PESE takes time and is very variable, taking from days to months. Rest is very important and pushing through fatigue can be counter-productive. Our physiotherapists can help you plan and manage your activity levels to enable a smoother recovery. Similarly it is likely that for some Long Covid patients, recovery will take much longer and require support, advice, specialist treatment and a multi-disciplinary Team approach. The NHS is setting up Long Covid clinics around the UK, however some already have long waiting lists which may delay access to vital assessment, treatment, guidance and support.
Our team of highly-experienced Chartered Physiotherapists have worked hard to develop a new Long Covid Assessment & Rehabilitation service to support those who feel that they need more support than currently available on the NHS. This service is led by our Managing Director and our Respiratory and Long Covid Physiotherapy Lead.
How Bevan Wilson’s Long Covid Service can help:
- Face to face or virtual appointments available, subject to triage.
- Thorough multi-systems screening and assessment as recommended by NICE.
- Bespoke recovery plan for each patient – not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Hollistic symptom management approach.
- Planning, prioritising and pacing activities of daily living to reduce PEM/PESE risk.
- Reassurance, guidance and support when you need it.
- Onward referral and liaison with other local Long Covid Clinicians / Assessment services.
Long Covid is a new illness, and we don’t yet know for sure what the best management or long-term outcomes will be. But it’s not unusual for some symptoms to resolve spontaneously, and we can help you manage those that continue. The good news is that the early evidence, and clinical experience suggests that most patients gradually get better over time.
Don’t suffer in silence, if you’re struggling with Long Covid symptoms of fatigue, breathlessness, musculoskeletal pain or neurological dysfunction then our Team can help you – please contact us and we will do everything that we can to help you.