LVHN’s Post-COVID Rehabilitation Program Offers Hope for COVID Long-Haulers
BY HANNAH ROPP
As the world continues to acclimate to a new normal, there is one phrase that we may start to hear more of: COVID long-haulers.COVID long-haulers is a term used by physicians to describe patients who suffer from long-term effects of COVID-19, such as chronic fatigue, brain fog, migraines and shortness of breath – and for some people, these effects can last months or even longer.
“COVID-19 can take a toll on your body. The first challenge is getting through the virus – but what happens after? What happens when you are home and begin to realize you are not back to 100 percent?” says Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Administrator of Outpatient Rehabilitation Services Craig Souders, PT, DPT. That’s why LVHN designed a new outpatient rehabilitation program designed to help those suffering from the aftereffects of COVID through post-COVID rehabilitation.“Our goal with this program is to help address those issues that persist after recovery. Some of the most common issues include decreased strength, balance, endurance, cognition and respiratory muscle retraining,” Souders says.
While it’s still unclear exactly how many people with COVID will have long-term effects, a recent study showed that as many as 30 percent of those with mild cases were reporting symptoms nine months after contracting the virus.
According to Souders, the post-COVID rehabilitation program offers individualized treatment plans made in conjunction with the referring physician as well as input from the patient. Care often is provided with a combination of face-to-face and video visits and is being offered at all 50 LVHN outpatient rehabilitation services locations.
For more information on post-COVID rehabilitation, visit LVHN.org/Rehab.