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RehabilitationSep 8, 2021

World PT Day focuses attention on rehabilitating people with the symptoms of long Covid

The theme of this year's World PT Day (held today, 8 September) is dedicated to promoting the role that physiotherapists can play internationally in treating and managing people affected by long Covid.

Photo Credit: World Physiotherapy
Spread some happiness on World PT Day, World Physiotherapy urges

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The campaign's key messages are as follows:

  • one person in 10 with long Covid cases has symptoms that last for 12 weeks or more
  • safe and effective rehabilitation is a fundamental part of recovery
  • rehabilitation must be tailored to the needs of the individual, depending on their symptoms, goals and preferences
  • the World Health Organization recommends that rehabilitation should include educating people about resuming everyday activities conservatively, at an appropriate pace that is safe and manageable for energy levels within the limits of current symptoms, and exertion should not be pushed to the point of fatigue or worsening of symptoms
  • effective rehabilitation interventions to support self-management of symptoms may include activity pacing and heart rate monitoring. A physiotherapist can help you manage your activity levels with pacing and heart rate monitoring
  • post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE) is most often triggered by physical activity and exercise. A physiotherapist can help you manage your activities to minimise PESE
  • physiotherapists can help you with breathing exercises
  • graded exercise therapy should not be used, particularly when post-exertional symptom exacerbation is present

Long Covid is different for everyone. A physiotherapist can help people manage their symptoms and work with them to support their recovery [Emma Stokes]

Speaking at the launch of  a raft of resources connected with World PT Day in June, president Emma Stokes said: 'The most common symptoms of long Covid, after six months, include extreme exhaustion, post-exertional symptom exacerbation, and problems with memory and concentration. 

'A physiotherapist can help people living with long Covid as part of a rehabilitation programme and make sure exercise prescription is approached with care to minimise risk and to ensure exercise programmes are restorative and do not make an individual’s symptoms worse.

'Long Covid is different for everyone. A physiotherapist can help people manage their symptoms and work with them to support their recovery.'

World PT Day is a day when physiotherapists can promote the profession to:

  • showcase the significant role the profession makes to the health and wellbeing of the global population
  • raise the profile of the profession
  • campaign on behalf of the profession and its patients to governments and policy makers

The day marks the 'unity and solidarity' of the physiotherapy community around the world, according to World Physiotherapy. It is an opportunity to recognise the work that physiotherapists do for their patients and community.

World Physiotherapy aims to support its member organisations and individual physiotherapists in their efforts to promote the profession and advance global health, using World PT Day as the focus.

For more information, visit: https://world.physio/news/world-pt-day-will-focus-rehabilitation-and-long-covid

Use the hashtag #WorldPTDay if using social media to promote the day

Author: Ian A McMillan
Power Diary
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