COVID-19 has been associated with a litany of symptoms, with severities that vary greatly from one person to another. Even for some of those who experienced mild symptoms, it can take a while to feel like yourself again. There are several negative lasting effects from the virus, many of which cause a loss of muscle mass, generalized weakness and heart issues. In cases of severe symptoms, a patient could be stuck at home, bed-ridden, or even hospitalized for weeks as they recover. Prolonged inactivity can ultimately increase your overall time of recovery.

How COVID-19 affects muscle strength and the heart.

COVID-19 causes significant changes in a person’s levels of endurance and strength which can render them unable to leave their bed for long periods of time. This poses the threat of developing muscle atrophy. 

According to UT Southwestern Medical Center, “healthy people can lose approximately 1% to 1.5% of muscle strength per day with bed rest. The average hospital stay for COVID-19 is eight days. In just over a week, a patient could lose 12% of their muscle strength.”

Research at Hackensack Meridian Health has also revealed the ways COVID-19 affects the heart as well. A 2020 study shows “a considerable majority of patients […] were found to have had inflammation in the heart and muscle lining. This can be troubling as inflammation in the heart can lead to long-lasting cardiac disease and failure.”


Elite Physical Therapy can help you recover.

Although many medical professionals are turning to steroids for treatment of COVID symptoms, steroids can speed up the breakdown of muscle mass resulting in weakness. Physical therapy can be used to help reduce the negative effects of medical treatment for COVID, leading to a reduction of lasting issues for patients.

Marcus Walker, DPT OCS, an Elite physical therapist who has worked with post-COVID-19 patients states, that “the sooner [a patient] can move, the better.” A physical therapist can determine the loss of strength and endurance a patient recovering from COVID-19 has experienced. Walker explains, “We can target affected areas to prioritize rebuilding strength, building lost muscle and improving heart health.”

Elite Physical Therapy can guide a recovering Covid patient through treatment plans involving stretching, strengthening, and endurance exercises. Their flexibility, functional strength and blood circulation will improve through exercises that are geared towards helping them return to pre-COVID levels of activity.

Walker discussed how a person might know that physical therapy could be necessary. “Anytime a patient feels they are not ‘back to normal’ within two weeks after their symptoms subside, they likely could benefit from the assistance of a physical therapist.” Expert assistance can help you return to your prior level of function as quickly and safely as possible.

Call Elite Physical Therapy today for YOUR COVID-19 recovery. 

COVID-19 may have negative lasting effects on the body, but they don’t have to be detrimental to a person’s overall health. With the right amount of care, attention, and expertise, a covid patient can reach their previous levels of strength. Movement is medicine.

Here at Elite Physical Therapy, we offer methods of treatment for patients recovered from COVID-19. One of our skilled therapists will determine areas that need strengthening and help your patients regain their stamina and muscle strength that was lost while they recovered from the virus. Recovery is never an easy road to go down alone.  If you or someone you love is struggling to become healthy again after a bout with COVID-19, make an appointment at our clinic today. 


What Are the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19? – COVID-19, Featured, Health › 2020/07/29 › what…

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