Long Covid, also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), is a condition that affects people who have recovered from Covid-19 but continue to experience symptoms for a prolonged period of time. These symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain, and cognitive difficulties. Physiotherapy can play an important role in the management of Long Covid symptoms.

Before starting physiotherapy, a thorough assessment is required to determine the patient’s physical status, functional abilities, and limitations. This assessment can include:

  • Measurement of lung function: This includes spirometry, which measures the amount and speed of air that a patient can exhale.
  • Assessment of breathing pattern: This can be done by observing the patient’s breathing rate and pattern, and assessing their use of accessory muscles.
  • Assessment of exercise capacity: This can be done through walking tests or cycle ergometry.
  • Assessment of strength: This can be done through muscle strength testing.
  • Assessment of balance and coordination: This can be done through functional tests, such as the timed up and go test.

Physiotherapy treatments for Long Covid

Breathing exercises – Breathing exercises can help improve the function of the respiratory muscles and increase oxygen intake. The following types of breathing exercises may be used:

  • Diaphragmatic breathing: This involves breathing from the diaphragm instead of the chest, which can help improve the efficiency of breathing.
  • Pursed lip breathing: This involves exhaling through pursed lips, which can help slow down breathing and reduce breathlessness.
  • Deep breathing exercises: This involves taking deep breaths to increase oxygen intake and improve lung function.

Cardiovascular exercise – Cardiovascular exercise can help improve endurance and reduce fatigue. The following types of exercise can be useful:

  • Walking: This can be done on a treadmill or outside and can be gradually increased in intensity and duration.
  • Cycling: This can be done on a stationary bike or outside and can also be gradually increased in intensity and duration.
  • Swimming: This can be a low-impact option for patients who have joint pain.

Resistance training – Resistance training can help improve strength and reduce muscle weakness. The following types of exercises may be used:

  • Weight training: This can involve using weights or resistance bands to target specific muscle groups.
  • Bodyweight exercises: This can involve using the patient’s own body weight to perform exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups.

Balance and coordination exercises – Balance and coordination exercises can help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. The following types of exercises may be useful:

  • Tai chi: This involves slow, flowing movements that can improve balance and reduce stress.
  • Yoga: This can improve flexibility, balance, and strength.
  • Functional exercises: This can involve exercises such as standing on one leg or walking heel-to-toe to improve balance and coordination.

Education and self-management – Education and self-management are important components of the treatment of Long Covid. Patients can learn techniques to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. This can include:

  • Understanding the condition and its potential long-term effects
  • Learning how to manage fatigue and conserve energy
  • Understanding the importance of breathing exercises and cardiovascular exercise and how to perform them correctly
  • Learning how to manage joint pain and muscle weakness
  • Understanding the importance of a healthy diet and sleep hygiene
Eleanor Broome
Eleanor Broome
11 May 2023
Lee was amazing today! His assessment was thorough, gave a clear plan of action and great advice. Thank you very much! I will definitely be back.
Jennie Allwork
Jennie Allwork
2 March 2023
Very good experience at my appointment today. Helped answer my questions and concerns. Really listened to me and provided great support thank you
Tim Reid
Tim Reid
16 February 2023
We have been working along-side Move4 over the last 12 months. The quality and professionalism of their team is second-to-none. We recommend the majority of our members to their service, and continuously receive fantastic feedback. In particular Fran and Nathan have been particularly amazing!
nadia k
nadia k
21 January 2023
Easy to book an appointment and the website had lots of useful information. It was helpful to be able to complete the assessment form beforehand as I was able to really detail the difficulties I have been having. Frances, who I saw was very friendly and encouraging. The excercises she advised for my difficulties have literally changed my life- I have been wfh since lockdown predominantly and sitting for long hours has had a detrimental effect on my back. I put helpseeking off for so long but couldn't any longer. I'm glad I took the risk as Frances instantly alleviated all my worries when I met her. Would highly recommend. Don't put it off like me!
28 December 2022
Frances is brilliant at her job. She is knowledgable and professional, great with advice and treatment. She’s also very easy to get along with and makes the experience an enjoyable one.
Erin Reid
Erin Reid
15 December 2022
Nathan has been absolutely fantastic with my ankle injury. Very grateful to be able to see him and get his expertise! He’s very patient with me and always so friendly and encouraging. Can’t imagine going anywhere else!
Jack Kilsby-Wickens
Jack Kilsby-Wickens
29 November 2022
Lee has been absolutely brilliant , helping through my recovery and understanding where the pain and issues are , highly recommend
Sian Madden
Sian Madden
24 November 2022
Me and my daughter have both been to Move4 Physio and their help was fantastic! Very knowledgeable. I’d definitely recommend booking
Carmela Miceli
Carmela Miceli
11 November 2022
Had a brilliant experience today with Lee. I was assessed then he addressed some of the issues with daily homework to do with multiple exercises. Hands down Move 4 was head and shoulders above Three Shires!! I didnt get any of the above on my first visit with them unfortunately.
Charlotte Crisp
Charlotte Crisp
4 November 2022
Second appointment with Lee for a niggling knee issue preventing longer run training. He is very thorough and patient, ensuring no stone is unturned in getting to the bottom of the issue and putting a plan in place to resolve it long term, strengthen the glutes and free off the hip flexors! Lots of challenging exercises to work on, but already I can feel the difference. Can’t recommend him enough, brilliant. Thank you!!

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