‘Diaphragmatic exercises are a huge benefit’ – new hope for long Covid patients, says professor

People suffering from shortness of breath, one of the commonly reported symptoms of Long-Covid, are given new hope in the form of diaphragm exercises they can do themselves.

Ublin respiratory doctor Professor Seamus Linnane, of Dublin’s Beacon Hospital, has set up Ireland’s first long Covid clinic and has recently shared the positive results of his own patients with other doctors treating people for the debilitating condition.

“We found that many patients have diaphragmatic weakness and we have promoted diaphragmatic training and seen benefits,” said Prof. Linnane.

“Patients come back saying their breathing feels much better, their dizziness is improving, and their well-being and energy.”

He said patients could be instructed how to do the diaphragm strengthening exercise at home using a cheap machine. “Some patients with long Covid can feel terrible most of the time. They’re going through a tough time, but it’s important to tell them about the progress,” he said.

Prof Linnane said positive trends are emerging in the progress of patients who have been ill with Covid for a long time and people he first saw early in the pandemic being released from his care. “There are people who need six to twelve months to work through it. There’s a smaller percentage of people that take up to two years,” he said.

He added that there is a wide range of symptoms associated with Long-Covid and that people are affected in different ways.

The most common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, palpitations and chest pain.

More women than men are affected and it is still unclear why or if it is related to their autoimmune profile. It is important that patients with long-term Covid-19 illness have access to a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including psychologists and physiotherapists.

Public hospitals with long Covid clinics are still building these teams. There are no specific treatments for Long-Covid, although clinical trials are ongoing and next year it should be clearer which of these will work best.

Prof Linnane said the experience so far is that many cardiac and respiratory symptoms disappear over time, but the neurological problems related to the brain last longer.

“We apply the concept of treatable traits. Therefore, we are focusing on treatments that we know will treat a specific case, such as airway obstruction or cognitive alertness,” said Prof Linnane.

“We feel more comfortable using treatments that have a validated benefit.”

When asked about the role of exercise in patients with long-term Covid illness, he said the strategy consists of exercise and pace.

“We strive to incorporate the concept of pacing and avoid post-exercise discomfort.

“It’s a very challenging area that we review regularly.

“Some will experience worsening of symptoms with exercise, and we’re also seeing weaknesses in some muscle groups that suggest people are losing capacity.”

Balance is a challenge, he said. “Some walk 5 km a day and others struggle to move around the house.

“Applying the same paradigm to a range of patients is inappropriate and needs to be tailored to their individual needs and abilities.”

Some people have had Covid-19 for a long time after a very mild infection, but the risk is increasing for those who have been hospitalized. The number of symptoms people who develop Long-Covid show after contracting the Omicron variant currently circulating in Ireland is lower than after the Delta strain that was dominant here last year.

“We found that for the types of symptoms shown, we had a slight excess of palpitations or cardiac presentations with Omicron compared to Delta, Alpha, or the Wuhan strain,” he added.

He also revealed the intense struggle many experience when going to work despite suffering from fatigue. “They put all their energy into going to work as long as possible, but come home with nothing.

“We’ve seen people who felt compelled to get back to work or had no other choice. They can then relapse and be absent again for weeks or months. It’s important to give someone time to recover.”

However, over time, people recovered significantly, he said. “We support them through the process and help them avoid harm while they recover.”

He said those who develop long Covid after being vaccinated appear to be less affected, strengthening the case for the vaccine.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/diaphragm-exercises-are-a-big-benefit-new-hope-for-long-covid-patients-says-professor-42031427.html ‘Diaphragmatic exercises are a huge benefit’ – new hope for long Covid patients, says professor

Fry Electronics Team

Fry Electronics.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@fry-electronics.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button