Long-COVID Rehabilitation: The best Treatment for Long-COVID
We all were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of that we have all heard of Long-COVID, and hopefully, about Long COVID Rehabilitation. And, no matter what happened to you or around you during the pandemic, somethings has become more and more prevalent over the last few months is Long-COVID. Long-COVID is a hot topic, and I want to start off by saying one thing: You are NOT making it up. I have worked in chronic illness since I gratulated from Physical Therapy school and I understand the gaslighting in the medical system, especially the US medical system. BUT, I am here to tell you that you are making that up. Most people with the COVID-19 virus recover within 1 week, but that’s definitely not the case for everyone. According to UCLA health, one in three people with a COVID diagnosis will develop Long-COVID.
So, today let’s talk about it: what is Long COVID Rehabilitation?
Are You Making Up Long COVID?
You are not making it up! I want you to know that this is not in your head.
Your symptoms, whichever way you may be presenting, are very real. I have seen many providers who either ‘don’t believe you’ or ‘don’t believe Long-COVID would be so severe’. But, I am here to say that there are many different and debilitating symptoms!
The biggest issue we are having is that we don’t have enough research on covid and Long-COVID, so many provider just don’t know what to do about it at this point.
What are Long-COVID Symptoms?
Long-COVID symptoms can be incredibly variable and truly span anywhere from fatigue to cardiovascular issues. Your symptoms can be cardiovascular, respiratory, general fatigue, fever, difficultly sleeping, and more. Because we just don’t know enough about Long-COVID right now, we can’t make an exact list. But, if you had COVID and now you’re experiencing symptoms you did not have before it could definitely be correlated with Long-COVID. Long COVID symptoms could last anywhere from a few weeks to years. COVID began in early 2020, and patients have been dealing with Long-COVID symptoms since that time. It’s difficult to say at this time if they last forever or not. However, it does seem like we are able to treat Long-COVID, though through LongCOVID rehabilitation and medication.
Long-COVID & Dizziness
Long-COVID is known to cause many different symptoms, as we discussed above. One of the overarching symptoms that we did not touch on above is dizziness. As a provider who treats dizziness and vertigo, I have been treating SO much Long-COVID. It started with just one patient who had dizziness related to COVID-19, but has been a very big influx of my caseload, especially for someone who treats Vestibular Migraine and PPPD usually.
Long-COVID Dizziness is thought to come from the virus infecting and inflaming your inner ear. Your inner ear controls balance and equilibrium, and spatial awareness. Without this organ functioning accurately, you will feel dizzy, light headed, and other related symptoms. Another Long-COVID dizziness diagnosis is POTS. POTS, or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is an autonomic dysfunction. Autonomic dysfunction is your automatic systems in your body. Everything from digestion to heart rate and breathing are controlled by your autonomic system, because these are all involuntary. And, they’re REALLY important! Long-COVID rehabilitation, can help regardless of the type of dizziness you are experiencing after a Long-COVID diagnosis!
Long-COVID rehabilitation has had its difficulties in treatment, but it’s nothing that my patients and I haven’t been able to trouble shoot. Long-COVID is not one of those sicknesses that you get and then suddenly you just get 100% better again. There may be adaptation and compensations you have to make in your life, and your lifestyle may look a little bit different than it did pre-COVID. However, I do find that specific rehabiltation directed at each of your symptoms is incredibly effective in getting you back to at least some of your ‘normal.’
How Do You Treat Long-COVID?
Long-COVID is complex, and I like I said above, we just don’t know enough about it. But, we have seen that Long COVID rehabilitation is effective. Your symptoms can range anywhere from looks like POTS to seeming like a concussion. No matter what the symptoms, Long-COVID treatment is rehabilitation. Long-COVID rehabilitation providers are typically physical therapists and occupational therapists. There are also medical providers who have branched into this kind of medicine as well. There are a few studies that have shown to be somewhat effective in treatment with medication. At this time it is all preliminary information. UCLA and Stanford both have excellent West coast treatment centers. Additionally, there are a few others like in Kansas City, Germany, New York City, and more!
Treating Long-COVID from a medical standpoint and a rehabilitation standpoint is the best way to go about treatment overall. I recommend finding both a medical doctor and a physical or occupational therapist to help you rebuild strength, improve visual symptoms, reduce dizziness, and more.
Long-COVID rehabilitation will look like a few different kinds of physical therapy combined into one treatment plan.
At this point, there are not many experienced Long-COVID rehabilitation practitioners, none of have more than a year or so of experience. However, we all piecing together information the best that we can! If you are looking for a provider, I recommend calling around to physical therapist and occupational therapist offices and asking if they’ve had any experience working with Long-COVID rehabilitation patients. And, if there is not someone in your area, try and find someone who is at least willing to learn with you!
Currently, I am taking patients for Long-COVID rehabilitation in the following states via telehealth: Wyoming, Virginia, Maryland, California, New York, and New Jersey!
If you’d like to schedule an evaluation appointment to work with me, email me at [email protected] for more information!