Did you know, there are likely to be more “Long-COVID” sufferers without a positive test than there are with one!
What is Long-COVID?
Put simply, it is applied to someone who has had symptoms following COVID-19 that have not gone away after 12 weeks or more.
As we learn more about the aftermath of having COVID-19, we can see that there is a significant volume of people that are reporting symptoms, often debilitating, for weeks or even months after having ‘recovered’ from Covid-19. This is particularly worrying for those in the younger adult and working age group, as it appears to be something that is more prevalent in this category.
How we can help:
During our assessments we will:
- Need to ask many, many questions but we also encourage you to share your experience with us in detail AND ask us any questions you may have. Due to the complexity of Long-Covid, you should expect that the vast majority of this appointment will be information gathering and assessing! This allows our therapist to tailor your treatment in subsequent appointments.
- Quantify the effects COVID-19 has had on you.
- Screen to rule out any other conditions that may be giving you your symptoms, unrelated to Long-Covid.
- Assess any need for medical testing.
- Work out a plan of treatment that you will benefit from. This almost always includes the need to correct a breathing dysfunction (which is common to over 95% of Long-Covid sufferers).
Symptoms vary between each individual, therefore, all treatment plans are bespoke to you.
Who does this apply to? – this service can apply to anyone that has had COVID-19 and wishes to check on their heart, breathing, muscle and joint health, or improve aspects of their fitness because of the effects of COVID-19.
What benefits will this give you? – MOST IMPORTANTLY, you will have a physical check to screen for possible heart and lung issues that may need further testing. Ultimately, tests show faults (or not), but they don’t correct those faults. This is where our Covid Rehab Service comes in.
Why are Physiotherapists doing this? – Physios are degree qualified, with much of their knowledge focussed around maximizing health through rehabilitation. We have degree level teaching in the areas of heart and lungs (cardiopulmonary), joints, muscles, circulation and much more.
Normal timescale for starting treatment? – to start treatment you MUST BE 7 days clear of symptoms, i.e., no cough, vomiting, upset stomach. However, some features such as lack of taste, fatigue and breathing issues last a long time, so if in doubt, please contact us so we can help you decide if this service is right for you.
Usual number of treatments needed? – unfortunately, this is impossible to know. As the virus is still relatively ‘new’, recovery times are poorly understood and research can only collate evidence as time goes on. However, with the amount we currently know, the expectation is that milder COVID-19 sufferers may only need a few treatments, with moderate to severe sufferers possibly needing treatment over a longer duration.
Cost – We wish to help as many sufferers following COVID-19 as we can and so we have chosen to keep this specialist service the same as our normal Physiotherapy rates. Assessments £47.50, reviews £42.50.
Why isn’t everyone offering this service? / why are we doing this? Our NHS is currently managing very high volumes of acute/urgent patients, and other services need to step up and help. This is what we have chosen to do! We always strive to be at the forefront of rehabilitation, therefore, we felt offering this vital service to help manage those that are no longer “urgent” was not only common sense, but essential, given our skillset.
Why is this service for individuals and not groups? – Every case of COVID-19 is proving to be different from the next, therefore, treatment must be tailored to the individual and not “generalised” for groups.
Is this service different to ‘regular physio? Absolutely! The assessment covers heart, lung and musculoskeletal issues. There is a large emphasis on working out your current ‘organ fitness’ so that treatment can work on what you need to get better.
Is this covered by your health insurance? You will be pleased to know that it is. As long as this service is being supplied by a HCPC and CSP registered Physiotherapist, it is covered under your Physiotherapy allocation. All of our Physiotherapists hold both of these registrations.
Of the statistics we currently know:
60% of those who have had COVID-19 are still suffering from persistent physical symptoms after 3 weeks.
1 in 10 will have symptoms for longer than 12 weeks.
‘Long-COVID’ can start weeks after the initial virus and is not always dependent upon the initial severity.
FITNESS – acute tiredness, fatigue, poor sleep, flares/relapsing out of nowhere, muscle wasting, metabolic disruption (especially important in conditions such as diabetes).
BRAIN – Brain fog, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, changes in mood, memory problems, headaches.
HEART – inflammation of the heart muscle, rapid pulse.
LUNGS -lung function abnormalities, ongoing chest pain, poor lung volume.
NERVES – smell and taste problems, the autonomic system (‘flight or fight’ sympathetic system) abnormality.
KIDNEY – acute kidney injury.
SKIN – rashes, hair loss.