Lehigh County Health & Medicine Fall/Winter 2020 - 5

L C M E D S O C .O R G

PHYSICAL
REHABILITATION

Plays Key Role in COVID-19 Recovery

C

By GOOD SHEPHERD REHABILITATION NETWORK

OVID-19 can have a devastating impact on the body. It causes
weakness, balance issues, swallowing problems, breathing challenges
and more - even if you're never hospitalized due to the potentially
deadly virus.

However, with guidance from physicians and therapists specializing in
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, patients recovering from COVID-19
have options to receive care for better respiratory function, cognition and
balance, all in an effort to regain their quality of life.
" Ultimately, because of the damage it can do to the lungs and heart,
COVID-19 can make it harder for people to walk, breathe normally or
complete everyday tasks, whether they were hospitalized or not, " said Susan
Golden, PT, NCS, administrative director of Neurorehabilitation at Good
Shepherd Rehabilitation Network. " These quality of life improvements
can be achieved through a number of approaches, including endurance
training and helping patients understand how to conserve their energy. "
In the case of patients who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19,
especially the critically ill who were placed on a ventilator, the physical
impact is far greater.
" In the case of COVID-19, any time you have a prolonged hospitalization without proper movement, muscle wasting can happen, "
Golden said. " Muscle wasting affects all of your body's function
and usually takes twice as long to regain. Because COVID-19 has
cardiac side effects, it is important to build strength and endurance
in a progressive manner with careful monitoring by a physical rehabilitation professional. "
Continued on page 6

FALL / WINTER 2020 | Lehigh County Health & Medicine 5


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Lehigh County Health & Medicine Fall/Winter 2020

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