How Physical Therapy Improves Functioning and Assists in the Recovery Process for COVID-19 Survivors


Physical therapy (PT) is the treatment of disease, injury, or deformity by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, and exercise, rather than by drugs or surgery (Physical Therapy, 2017). PT has been used in the recovery process from surgeries, to prevent surgery, and to regain or maintain mobility in the body (Physical Therapy, 2017). There have been many uses, applications, and benefits of PT and there are still more ways it can be implemented today, such as with COVID-19 survivors. The COVID-19 pandemic has been an ongoing outbreak since December 2019 when it was first identified in China (WHO, 2020). COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms and effects on those diagnosed with it, including loss of taste and smell, fever, dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (WHO, 2021). Those who survive may be burdened with several lasting effects, such as prolonged fatigue and shortness of breath, and face a very long road to recovery. In this comprehensive literature review, the functions and benefits of PT will be explored in regard to COVID-19 survivors through the analysis of past implementations of PT following other serious illnesses. With the implementation of PT, it is hypothesized that the recovery process can be shortened, and the lasting effects lessened. Anyone who has survived COVID-19 and suffers from lasting effects may benefit from the results of this project. This is because positive results may indicate that PT is a viable option, as it could improve mobility after the illness or hospital stay as well as aid in improving some of the lasting effects, such as breathing problems.



Physical Therapy, COVID-19, recovery process, lasting effects