Next Generation Physical Therapy for Long COVID Symptoms

Struggling with persistent, long-COVID symptoms? While most people are fortunate to recover fairly quickly post-COVID infection, some experience more serious or longer-lasting symptoms. Whether they suffer from deconditioning due to prolonged hospitalization, continue to experience mental fatigue and “brain fog”, or other difficult-to-treat experiences following coronavirus, “long-haulers” feel the effects of the virus for more than four weeks after diagnosis.

Common signs and symptoms that can linger post-COVID include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Memory, concentration or sleep problems
  • Muscle pain or headache
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fever
  • Dizziness when you stand
  • Worsened symptoms after physical or mental activities
  • Organ damage (heart, kidneys, brain)
  • Blood clots
  • PTSD, depression, anxiety from hospital stays

Symptoms can vary across the board, from minimal symptoms to significant limitations, and are dependent on severity of the illness they incurred.

Physical Therapy for Long COVID Symptoms

Competitive Edge Physical Therapy uniquely treats patients suffering from long-COVID or persistent post virus symptoms with the latest physical therapy technology and methodologies.

Early research on long COVID presentations indicates significant involvement of the vagus nerve, more specifically the decreased activation of this nerve as a regulator of the central nervous system. COVID related down-regulation of the vagus nerve leads to chronic symptoms associated with the regulation of internal organ functions, such as digestion, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as certain reflex actions. Stimulation of this nerve to promote its “rest and restoration” capacity is critical in optimizing full-body system function, thereby relieving the chronic long COVID symptoms that persist. In addition to aiding internal organ function, the vagus nerve is the off-switch for the energy-sapping and mentally fatiguing “fight or flight” nervous system response that the body turns on during a threat such as long COVID.

CEP’s Physical Therapy Approach

CEP’s post-COVID treatment plans are anchored by the use of NEUBIE pulsed direct current treatment, which has been unparalleled in addressing long-standing dysfunctions and decreasing chronic pain among our patient population. By impacting the body at the neurological level, we can change the inputs the body is receiving regarding pain and muscle function, thereby “correcting” the dysfunctional patterns that occurred due to the persistent symptoms of the virus. Most importantly in the treatment of long COVID symptoms, the NEUBIE device is capable of stimulating the vagus nerve powerhouse to restore function to the body’s internal systems and effectively assist the body in switching off “fight or flight” mode that is draining resources during a prolonged illness.

Along with the NEUBIE, our physical therapists at all of our Tampa locations utilize pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy to further accelerate healing at the neurological level. The PEMF therapy device directs pulsed energy waves toward damaged or injured areas of a patient’s body. Stress and lack of restorative rest from prolonged sickness, due to lack of vagus nerve stimulus mentioned previously, translates to a sub-optimal state of wellness. Through PEMF therapy, the cells of the body are “recharged”, making it easier for the body to restore its health status. This modality decreases the nervous system “fight or flight” response, enhances restorative rest capacity, and increases energy stores at the cellular level.

Our physical therapists also have the capability of continually testing the heart rate variability (HRV) in post-COVID patients during PT sessions at CEP. HRV testing paints a picture of the body’s wellness and recovery capacity by gaining feedback from electrical activity of the heart. In those with long-term illness, HRV analysis indicates the inability of the body to switch between “fight or flight” and “rest” phases. Through analysis of this critical information, physical therapists develop an individualized plan to improve health status and increase functional capacity during daily activities that suddenly became difficult during and post coronavirus infection.

Post COVID Physical Therapy at CEP Tampa

We’re honored to be chosen by patients and area physicians for physical therapy to help the community recover from long-COVID symptoms. Watch the video below to learn more about Norma’s case and how our physical therapists are helping her recover from an extended hospital stay due to COVID symptoms.

Our team of expert physical therapists equipped with next-generation PT technology want to help you push past your long-COVID symptoms! CEP is proud to serve our community by promoting optimal health with use of innovative technologies. Contact us today to get started scheduling your physical therapy.

Read more about COVID physical therapy in this blog.

Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/long-term-effects/index.html
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/pulsed-electromagnetic-field-therapy
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid-long-haulers-long-term-effects-of-covid19

 

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