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How we Treat COVID-19 Patients with Physiotherapy

The world has turned upside down with 30+ million people infected with the deadly pandemic, COVID-19. However, health services are working on the front line to combat these rising numbers.

Everyone across the globe is practising social distancing, while our frontline warriors are no longer seeing their patients face-to-face and conducting telehealth visits. We, at Pranayam Lung and Health Institute, have experienced medical practitioners who help in curing COVID-19 patients. Only at our hospital, we provide physiotherapy treatment to coronavirus patients.

After the coronavirus treatment, patients are facing the repercussions of COVID-19, i.e. breathing problems. The common post-COVID-19 side-effects include sleeplessness, breathlessness, fatigue, muscle deconditioning, loss of strength, etc.

To avoid this, every patient should undergo a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation to speed up the recovery process.

Taking your attention to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the virus causes respiratory illness ranging from mild to severe disease and even death in the worst situations. The virus has various modes of transportation, including droplet, airborne, fomite, faecal-oral, mother-to-child, animal-to-human, etc.

In this blog know the benefits of physiotherapy which we offer for COVID-19 patients and know what our senior physiotherapist Dr Chaxu Doshi has to say.

Pranayam Lung & Heart Institute (PLHI) offers the best physiotherapy in Vadodara! Before that, let's understand the importance of physiotherapy for COVID-19 patients.

Read more: COVID-19 and asthma: Expert guidelines to stay safe


Benefits of our physiotherapy sessions pre- and post-COVID-19:

  • Improves the functioning of lungs with breathing exercises.

  • Improves the metabolism of the body.

  • Mobilizes secretions and ease the work of breathing.

  • After discharge, the exercises build up the breathing strength among patients.

The fact is that the component of pulmonary rehabilitation is exercise training, including aerobic and resistance training. It helps survivors of COVID-19 to return to their everyday life.

Pranayam Lung and Heart Institute has its own professional and dedicated COVID squad who are striving hard to help COVID-19 patients restlessly. One of them is Dr Chaxu Doshi, Senior Physiotherapist at PLHI who took out the time to educate people, explaining the benefits of physiotherapy.

She has shared some insights about COVID-19 treatments and some physiotherapy exercises that are beneficial for your battle against the virus.

Dr Doshi is one of the best physiotherapists in Vadodara who designs physiotherapy exercises for her patients, depending on their situation. She firmly believes that: Proper physiotherapy aids in speedy recovery. Head down to know more.

Basically, physiotherapy varies as per the intensity of COVID-19 infection. It includes:

Patients on ventilation (tracheostomy)

Non-Symptomatic patients

Venturi and nasal cannula patients

Treatment and physiotherapy differ from one patient to another. These are the physiotherapy exercises for COVID-19 patients at our hospital.


Exercise #1: Walking for 15-20 minutes daily

Patients should walk for at least 20 minutes regularly

Sit down immediately if you experience shortness of breath

Patients who are home quarantined should walk in their room

Helps in:

  • Reducing the chances of heart diseases

  • Lifting your mood

  • Improving your breathing pattern


Exercise #2: Accessory muscle exercise

Breath in as you move your hands towards the roof

Exhale while you bring back your hands in the original position

Make sure you breathe in from the nose and breathe out from the mouth

Helps in:

  • Correcting muscle imbalances

  • Improving functional movements

  • Accelerating body’s recovery rate

  • Building strength


Exercise #3: Chest Expansion

Place both your hands behind your head

Breathe in as you lift your head up

Breathe out as you put your head down

Helps in:

  • Improving respiratory function

  • Increasing lung volumes

  • Boosting chest expansion

  • Promoting relaxation

  • Reducing reliance on oxygen therapy


Exercise #4: Diaphragmatic Breathing

Sit or lie down on a flat surface

Place one hand on the upper chest and other below your rib cage

Breathe in slowly through the nose so that your stomach moves out against your hand

Tighten your stomach muscles, letting them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips at the count of 4

Make sure you inhale while expanding your stomach and exhale while contracting.

Helps in:

  • Strengthening the diaphragm

  • Reducing the work of breathing by slowing your breathing rate

  • Decreasing oxygen demand

  • Effortless breathing


Exercise #5: Prone Sleeping

Lie down with a pillow under your chest

Rest your head over your hands

Helps in:

  • Increasing the oxygenation of the SARS-CoV-2 patient

  • Reducing further body damage


Exercise #6: Postural Drainage

Postural drainage is done at the same time as percussion, sometimes called clapping, which involves someone clapping on your back, chest, or sides with a cupped hand to shake mucus loose from the lungs.

These techniques, along with vibration, deep breathing, and huffing and coughing, are referred to as chest physiotherapy, chest physical therapy, or airway clearance therapy.

This treatment is given by the in-hospital physiotherapist, depending on the patient’s situation. It helps to drain other areas of your lungs and shift secretions out of your lungs. Make sure you check with your doctor first before trying this out.

Get yourself treated at the best lung hospital in Baroda.

Helps in:

  • Clearing fluids in the lungs

  • Loosening the thick, sticky mucus


There are a few precautions that should be taken by COVID-19 patients. Never begin these exercises if you have:

Fever

Dizziness

Cool, clammy skin

Excessive fatigue

Irregular heartbeat

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing while resting

Chest pain or palpitation

New swelling in your legs


At Pranayam Lungs and Heart Institute, all our patients go through the following process:

1. Assessment

Breath-hold test

1-minute step test

2. Analyse Dyspnea

3. Airway Clearance

4. Respiratory muscle exercise

5. Thoracic expansion exercise

6. Resistance exercise

7. Active Cycle of Breathing Techniques (ACBT) Training


We also provide some exercises that should be done during the home

quarantine:

8. Aerobic Exercise

9. Strength Training

10. Balance Training

11. Respiratory Training


Get a clear understanding with the help of below pointers:

1. COVID-19 Treatments: Improve Dyspnea

Things you should do: Diaphragmatic breathing + constricted breathing should be done for 10 minutes (3 times/day)

Requirement: Bare hands

2. COVID-19 Treatments: Airway Clearance

Things you should do: Expiration training + sputum excretion device should be done for 15 minutes (1 time/day)

Requirement: Sputum excretion and breathing trainer + respiratory muscle trainer

3. COVID-19 Treatments: Respiratory Muscle Exercise

Things you should do: Non-threshold load training for the inspiratory muscle should be done starting from 3 cm H20 and increased gradually. Try to do it for 10-15 minutes (1 time/day), including stretching for 5 minutes (1 time/day)

Requirement: Bare hands

4. COVID-19 Treatments: Thoracic Expansion Exercise Activity

Things you should do: Brisk walking for 10-30 minutes

Requirement: Heart rate monitor and oximeter

5. COVID-19 Treatments: Resistance Exercise

Things you should do: Try doing this exercise with bare hands and a yellow elastic band for 10 minutes/time.

Requirement: Elastic band

6. COVID-19 Treatments: Nutritional Support

Things you should do: Protein powder for muscular dystrophy (1-12 g/kg)

Requirement: Protein powder

Note: COVID-19 patients are asked to undergo a 6 min Walk Test (6MWT) before getting discharged. This screening test is a must for COVID-19 patients to measure your heart rate and blood oxygen levels; which may fluctuate upon exertion.

While speaking about the treatment, Dr Chaxu Doshi said that, “At Pranayam Lung & Heart Institute, physiotherapy is given to COVID patients since the beginning and we have observed tremendous improvement in health conditions. We offer physiotherapy to patients considering their present lung condition and past medical history.”

Check out the video: https://www.facebook.com/PranayamLungInstitute/videos/351822085828129/

Dr Doshi designs exercise plans for every discharged patient. It should be remembered that every patient undergoes different treatment, depending on their current situation. These are some of the basic treatments offered at the hospital:

At Pranayam, every patient undergoes the following:

  • Brisk walking for at least 30 minutes

  • Breathing exercises

  • Spirometry

  • Diaphragmatic breathing exercises

  • Pursed-lip breathing exercises (if you experience breathlessness)

Having said this, Pranayam is the only hospital offering bespoke physiotherapy to COVID-19 patients in Vadodara.

She ends by addressing people to undergo a 14-day home quarantine as per government guidelines.

Pranayam Lung & Heart Institute (PLHI) has been providing effective solutions for the cure of Respiratory (lung/chest) and Cardiac (heart) care as a regional and national centre of excellence for the past 38 years. Our doctors are on their toes 24/7 treating COVID-19 patients and giving the best treatment as possible. Contact the best lung specialist in Vadodara.

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