Rehabilitation Following Covid-19
Louisa England is one of our Physiotherapists and in this blog she provides us with information and what to do to aid your recovery and return to daily activity after Covid-19.
It is important to note that if you experience any cardiac symptoms during the illness such as palpitations, chest pain and severe breathlessness, you should speak to your GP before a phased return to activity.
COVID-19 is a new type of CoronaVirus which can affect the airways. This can cause shortness of breath, coughing and sometimes the level of oxygen in the blood is reduced. It is commonly passed between people via airborne droplets from coughing or sneezing.
After recovering from COVID-19 you may still experience some symptoms related to the illness and this may present as breathlessness and/or excessive mucus in the lungs.
The following may help with clearing mucus from your lungs.
The Active Cycle of Breathing Technique – ACBT
ACBT can be done anytime. ACBT is a set of breathing techniques used to relax and open your airways. These breathing exercises make your cough work better and help clear mucus out of your airways and lungs.
The following may be useful to help minimise breathlessness
Use the below positions when feeling breathless, or recovering from exercise and during your breathing exercises.
Check your Breathing – Activity log
You can use this BORG scale below to monitor your breathlessness whilst you exercise. This can be a useful tool to track your recovery. You should aim to be exercising within zones 3 and 5 on the below scale.
Modified BORG Scale Assessment of Breathlessness.
Remember: It is normal to get out of breath when exercising and for your heart rate to increase with exercise and walking but should return to normal within 5 minutes after finishing. You can keep a track of your scores and activity on the below table. You should notice improvements as time goes by
Below is a phased return to physical activity plan. Each phase should last at least 7 days and should only be progressed once progression criteria has been met. Drop back a phase if you are finding it too difficult. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is used to monitor how hard you are working in each phase. The ratings are in the below table:
Pacing (The 6 P’s):
- Prioritise your activities
- Plan your day within limits
- Pace yourself – slow and steady, don’t rush
- Position your body and arrange your environment to reduce shortness of breath- sit down if possible, avoid raising your arms or bending for too long and awkward positions
- Use Pursed lip breathing when doing activities requiring effort.
- Keep a Positive attitude – focus on what you can do!
If you would like any further advice with this or to book an appointment to discuss a different injury please click below.