Tiredness, muscle weakness, dyspnea, shortness of breath and cough are the most frequent sequelae that people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 have. This was explained by Dr. Milena Molina, physiatrist in charge of coordinating the interdisciplinary team that approaches COVID patients from the time they are hospitalized in San Juan de Dios, until their recovery.
“People can also have loss of smell and taste. It is important to be attentive to all the symptoms that may appear and consult a doctor even when they are considered free of the illness” said Molina.
How to treat the aftermath
To treat dyspnea, respiratory therapist Fabiola Arroyo, recommended doing respiratory or cardiovascular exercises, such as walking or cycling. “Most patients have significant dyspnea at the beginning and after several weeks they feel much better. If the dyspnea is severe, the treatment can include oxygen therapy, it depends on each case”, assured the specialist.
She added that, when experiencing shortness of breath, it is best to remain calm and relax since dyspnea increases with stress or anxiety – and if another symptom such as fever occurs, it is best to consult a doctor.
Exercises for recovery
In the case of fatigue, tiredness and muscle weakness, Rodolfo Hidalgo, a physical therapist, recommended some exercises to do at home gradually:
- Lying down, face down, lift the leg with the knee extended, hold up for five seconds and lower the leg.
- Lying on your back with your legs bent, lift your buttocks off the surface.
- Lying on your back, with your legs raised, perform bicycle movements (circular) forwards and then backwards.
- Lying on your back and with your legs extended, lift them up and hold them up for five seconds.
“Exercise at home is essential to ensure recovery. It begins with simple exercises that can be performed sitting or lying down to maintain active mobility of the arms and legs, and avoid physical deconditioning associated with prolonged bedtime due to the disease ”, concluded Dr. Molina.