Why pulmonary rehabilitation is the answer to Covid third wave

Even as we are dealing with the aftermath of the Covid second wave, the third wave seems to be knocking at our doors already. How prepared are we to deal with Covid 3.0?

 |  2-minute read |   28-06-2021
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The second wave of Covid-19 took such a toll on our health systems that we are still struggling to grapple with it. As the wave slowly ebbs, the country is trying to revive the economy even as we deal with the recovery phase.

As healthcare professionals, we are focusing on the pathway of care, as we are well aware of the importance of this phase in preventing the spread of infection.

main_covid-cough_gfx_062821115822.jpgCovid third wave is almost here. Are we prepared enough?

People who are out of ICUs will still require health support to deal with the aftermath of the disease. Follow-up is challenging, as we are still unaware of the extent of temporary or permanent damage that Covid has left on the lung tissues. For starters, patients recovering from Covid-19 are more prone to fatigue, which is quite similar to those with chronic lung issues.

This is where the Rehabilitation or the Physiotherapy community comes into the picture. Special protocols have been designed by chest therapists to take care of post-Covid symptoms. It is a challenge to get patients back to their original level of fitness as the post-Covid recovery depends on the extent of the patient’s stay in the hospital or ICU.

Even as we deal with the aftermath of the second wave, the third wave seems to be knocking at our doors. How prepared are we to deal with this new wave?

For starters, we need to prepare our lungs ahead of the onslaught. Focus on breathing exercises, wearing clean masks, doing light exercises while maintaining social distance, or preferably, do your exercises in your balcony or terrace. This is a key step to prepare ourselves.

Pulmonary exercises are important for the post-Covid recovery phase and are of utmost importance in dealing with any infection. Make the most of this time, while the cases are fewer, to build your stamina, improve lung capacity and increase flexibility. This will help in building physical strength and also aid in mental well-being.

Children need to be prepared even more, given that their physical activity has taken a hit in the past year and a half. With an acute dip in their physical activity, their strength in fighting diseases has also taken a hit. Engage them in small bouts of exercise with you. Start with a basic routine for 15 minutes a day and then gradually progress to 30 minutes. The exercise routine can include deep breathing and pranayama. Go for basic stretching and strengthening of limbs.

Stay fit and stay prepared.

Also Read: Did you know the key to good health is linked to how you breathe?


Dr Kanchan Anand

The author and is the head of department, Physiotherapy, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

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