If you or someone you love has experienced severe illness with COVID-19 and are starting to slowly feel a bit better and be taken off of supplemental oxygen and the like, you may be simply counting your blessings that things turned out the way they did. However, you may also be wondering what you can and should expect from the recovery process from the disease. For people who experienced a severe manifestation of COVID-19, recovery can be quite involved and can be a long road. Get to know some of what you might expect from recovery after severe COVID-19. Then, you can be prepared for the process.
Physical therapy is often a big part of the recovery process from severe COVID-19. Whether you were put on a ventilator or not, the disease can take a major toll on your strength, endurance, and lung capacity. And physical therapy can help you to build some of that back. Physical therapy will start out quite slow when you are recovering from COVID-19. You might start out just simply standing and walking around your room. If you start to feel more up to it, sitting up in a chair may be part of the process. Walking longer distances is, of course, a big goal of physical therapy.
Physical therapy can also help you to stretch and regain strength in your limbs and body. Some people who have been in ICU for COVID-19, in particular, need lots of physical therapy to build strength and regain their abilities. If you are recovering from severe COVID-19, be sure to do what your physical therapist recommends and do the exercises they ask you to do between sessions. These are for your own good and will help to improve your overall physical recovery.
Along with intensive physical therapy, patients who experienced severe COVID-19 will also likely go through occupational therapy to help them regain the ability to do daily tasks of living. Patients who have been in the ICU for COVID-19 may develop weaknesses in their hands and fingers, for example. This could be due to lack of use or poor circulation or both.
Because of this, occupational therapists may need to work on strength-building exercises in the hands and fingers and help patients adjust to new ways of doing usual tasks like feeding themselves, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed.
Occupational therapists, as well as physical therapists, will focus on walking as well, just taking different approaches to the process. Oftentimes, occupational and physical therapists will coordinate care in a hospital or rehab facility setting to give patients the best outcomes.
Now that you know more about the recovery from severe COVID-19, you can be better prepared for the treatments you will receive in your recovery process.
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