Long Covid is a term that describes the long-term aftereffects of a person who has had Covid-19. The majority of people who have Covid-19 and recover, appear to suffer from no long-term effects. However, up to 20% of people who have had Covid-19 / Coronavirus will suffer from long-term effects caused by this virus which can last for weeks or months, this is known as Long Covid. Long Covid does not just affect those who were hospitalised with the virus. Those who had mild symptoms can also suffer long term effects.
Symptoms of Long Covid include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Chest pains
- Joint or muscle pain
- Not being able to think straight or focus (‘brain fog’)
Tips for treating Long Covid
Plan, prioritise and pace your activities.
Follow this NHS link for advice about managing your daily activities: https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/your-road-to-recovery/managing-daily-activities/
Consider doing activities in a different way or use equipment that may assist you. A perching stool, for example, helps eliminate the need to stand when completing activities and can help preserve energy.
Be active but don’t push yourself too hard
It is important to slowly increase your activity levels to help strengthen your muscles, but you must listen to your body. If you feel breathless or unwell you must stop and rest. Activity is also good for improving your mood due to endorphins it releases.
Be kind to yourself
Recovery is a long process and some days will feel easier than others. Talk to people about how you are feeling. This can be friends or family or consider joining a group for people who have also had Covid.
Click on this link to learn about a group for Covid survivors https://www.selfhelp.org.uk/COVID-19_Survivors_Group_UK
The ME Association has produced a full and comprehensive leaflet about post-Covid fatigue which can be found here: https://meassociation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Post-Covid-Fatigue-Syndrome-and-MECFS-September-2020.pdf
About the Author - This article was produce by Occupational Therapy Student Laura, as part of her placement with Ross Care. We hope this will provide useful and practice advice to support your self-help on this topic.