As this current wave of COVID spreads through the eastern states of Australia we know that in the vast majority of cases people recover well after the initial onset of respiratory symptoms. However, since early on in the pandemic some patient reported experiencing secondary symptoms that were lasting weeks or months after initial infection. This has been termed ‘Long-COVID’ and it affects our body in many ways.

Once patients are out of hospital or the initial COVID recovery phase, physiotherapists can play a significant role to play in the management of Long COVID. Some of the main symptoms experienced include shortness of breath, significant fatigue, altered sleep and reduced cognitive function. These symptoms have a big impact of being able to carry out normal daily living.

Returning to daily living and/or exercise needs to be closely monitored in patients with long covid, as symptoms can worsen with excessive physical, cognitive or emotional activity similar to those with chronic fatigue syndrome. Physiotherapists can advise on how to pace your daily activities and more specific testing can be done to determine at what heart rate intensities you should be working at throughout the day or when exercising. Here at Physiologic we are one of only a few practices in South East QLD with the ability to accurately test your metabolic function via a Metabolic Efficiency testing and we have experience in assisting those with chronic fatigue syndrome set suitable training programs in order to optimize their function.

Many patients are reporting significant difficulties in controlling their breath long after the initial infection. Breathing is usually something that comes naturally to us. However, many patients with Long COVID are reporting “it feels like I have forgotten how to breath correctly”. Physiotherapists can assist with relearning correct breathing patterns and ensuring the correct muscles are being used.

If you or someone you know if struggling with Long-COVID your primary contact should be your GP. Contact us here at Physiologic to discuss how we can help you return to your optimal level of function, in a shorter time frame than just a wait and see approach.


Adam Shaw

Titled Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist