Post/Long Covid Syndrome

A student recently presented to our staff about Post COVID Syndrome, otherwise known as Long COVID Syndrome. Our staff learned the definition of this, facts about it, as well as how Physical Therapy may play a role in the treatment plan.

Long COVID Syndrome is defined as “a condition that is marked by the presence of symptoms which persist for an extended period of time (such as weeks or months) following a person’s initial recovery from COVID-19 infection”.  An interesting fact that was presented was that the prolonged side effects were not necessarily based on the severity of symptoms experienced initially, meaning that both those with mild as well as severe COVID-19 symptoms are susceptible to Post COVID Syndrome. 

Due to the many body systems affected and symptoms that patients experience, multiple doctors and healthcare professionals, including Physical Therapists, will play a role in treating patients with Long COVID Syndrome.  Physical Therapy can address issues such as muscle weakness and decreased endurance that resulted from COVID-19 or Post COVID Syndrome.

While there is still much to learn about COVID as well as Post COVID Syndrome, it has been largely recognized that a person’s previous activity level is a strong predictor of severity and recovery from COVID-19. A recent study of collegiate athletes that were diagnosed with COVID-19 indicated that the prevalence of persistent symptoms for more than 3 weeks was only in 1.2% of the athletes, and symptoms greater than three months were present in less than 1% . As you enter this New Year with goals and resolutions, we encourage you to move well and move often!