A very crucial aspect of the course of COVID-19 is not covered quite as much – that of physiotherapy. When it comes to the novel coronavirus, a phenomenon that has taken over our lives for what seems like countless months now, most of the articles found on the internet revolve around symptoms, home remedies, vaccine awareness, etc.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy itself does not have as many takers as it should in a country like India. It is when a physiotherapist works with the patient concerned to help them make their muscles functional and their blood flowing without hindrance. While this does not sound like much, its effects are manifold. It can help people with disability expand the possibility of movement, aids in treating diseases and preps the body to manage pain better. In the case of COVID-19, physiotherapy is particularly effective as a parallel (NOT substitute) treatment to the medical help available at hospitals and home.
How can Physiotherapy combat COVID-19?
The virus, as we all know by now, primarily affects a person’s lungs. But it also affects other organs and can have an adverse global effect. Patients at the hospital go through invasive, but necessary modes of treatment. This takes a toll on a fragile and fatigued body because of the virus. This is where the physiotherapist comes in. By working with the patient, they help circulate blood around the body. It enables the patient to gain some strength, even enough to sit up. For a COVID affected person, this feeling can go a long way in regaining mental and emotional strength to fight harder against the disease.
But the role of physiotherapy does not end there. Its most important contribution comes after the patient gets discharge. Scientists may talk freely about the high recovery rate of COVID-19 patients but the virus leaves long-lasting effects. The fatigue stays on for a while, albeit lesser than at peak illness, lungs can take time to acclimatise to breathing independently. Even day to day tasks like sitting upright for long periods, making a cup of coffee, or bathing, will require a herculean effort to accomplish for a recovering individual. A physiotherapist works with recovering patients so that the body’s immune system kicks in faster to help in the process.
Apart from senior citizens, another demographic disproportionately affected by coronavirus are those with higher than average body mass index. Physiotherapy is even more crucial in these cases. People on the obesity scale have more obstacles to muscle and lung activity. This can delay recovery significantly and snowball into causing other complications. Blood circulation can be difficult in these cases without the help of expertly supervised and aided physiotherapy.
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