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COVID-19 Recovery

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Overview

Cardio-respiratory physiotherapists are present in ED, the acute wards, ICU and the rehabilitation wards of hospitals. They are fully involved in the acute care of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms and help with their breathing and their rehabilitation needs.

In the community and outpatient departments cardio-respiratory physiotherapists are available via telehealth to help those recovering from COVID-19.

Are you recovering from COVID-19? Are you more breathless than usual still or have a persistent cough? Are you feeling more fatigued or weaker than usual and getting less done? A cardio-respiratory physiotherapist can help you manage your recovery and symptoms and rehabilitate you to lead a more active lifestyle.

Symptoms

Post COVID-19 symptoms - do any of these relate to you now?

  • Getting more breathless than usual
  • Things being more effortful than before
  • Feeling weaker
  • Getting tired more easily
  • Managing to get less done
  • A persistent cough

How physio helps

  • Individualised and specialised management of respiratory conditions
  • Management of persistent cough and breathlessness
  • Ways to manage fatigue
  • Personalised strengthening programmes, focusing first on breathing muscles
  • Helping restore fitness levels
  • A focus on functional activities

What to expect

If you have been admitted to hospital it is likely you will have seen a cardio-respiratory physiotherapist and will have been assessed and provided with a series of activities, exercises and breathing exercises to complete at home.

If you have not been admitted and have managed at home yet find that you have the symptoms above, ask your doctor to refer you for a telehealth assessment and possibly pulmonary rehabilitation in your area. If there are no classes available in your area then you can ask to be referred (or self-refer) to a local physio who is skilled in treating people with cardio-respiratory issues. Your physio can see you via telehealth and can discuss your needs and put together an activity plan just for you.

Physiotherapy in a clinic environment

If you are fit and healthy and have had COVID-19 and want to get back to optimum lung and musculoskeletal fitness. Cardio-respiratory physiotherapy can guide you through a tailor made rehabilitation programme.

An individualised programme will:

  • Address breathing biomechanics and any breathing dysfunction.
  • Assess lung health and respiratory muscle health
  • Assess dynamic breathing patterns to ensure optimised activity or sporting performance

What to expect?

  • Learn how to breathe well at rest, during movement and when participating in sport or other activity
  • Learn about the important elements of breathing well including nasal health, breathing patterns and muscle health
  • Learn physical coping skills for stress, fatigue, anxiety and pain management
  • Strengthening of the breathing muscles through individually tailored inspiratory muscle training programmes