Impact of Covid 19 on patient presentations to NYP

At NYP we have had to adapt, as has everyone else in health care, to the wearing of PPE whilst treating.

We have also had to put these other risk assessment measures in place:

  • the clinical telephone triage call prior to making an appointment
  • leaving the window ajar to aerate the room (even during chilly days, brr!!)
  • Covid screening questions

However, another adaptation we have noticed is the slight change in presentation of aches, pains and disability due to Covid and lock down.

Here, we will look at these presentations and give advice on what you can do to help yourself with them.

Long Covid

One impact of Covid is the prolonged symptoms it can leave someone with. We hear a lot about the really sad deaths from it, but for those that recover, be it after hospitalisation or suffering at home, the long term effects can linger for months.

We have seen this first hand with clients coming for help from:

  • effects of fatigue and muscle weakness with joint stiffness
  • neuropathy as a result of the virus.

Neuropathy is when a nerve, or a group of nerves, become affected and cannot transmit their messages. This can lead to an inability to fully activate the muscles the nerve supplies and a marked reduction in function. Physiotherapy can help these symptoms by guiding you through a phased recovery programme with advice, exercises and hands-on therapy. We also use electrotherapy machines and/or a specific loading programme targeting the affected muscles.

You can read more in our previous blog by clicking here.

At NYP we continue to offer free telephone advice for anyone suffering from long term physical effects of Covid-19. Please get in touch if you would like some advice.

Working From Home

Another massive change has seen thousands of people working from home. This has meant people have been thrown into a situation of working a full day in an inefficient working position, perhaps with a laptop at a kitchen table. We have seen several clients with back, neck and arm pains. Partly this is due to a poor working set up, partly due to the reduction in moving around that would normally happen in an office environment. It may need only take a couple of easy alterations to help prevent these aches and pains.

You can get some suggestions on working from home by reading our blog.  Click here

You can also watch a short video on desk set up by clicking here

Decreased activity levels

One thing we have noticed is an increase in joint stiffness and pain in people who are usually able to manage long standing aches and pains or flare ups. This appears to be in those people who are usually active but have had to curtail their activity levels due to isolating; it is particularly evident in those aged 70 and over.

Joints and muscles both like movement. Without movement they can become stiff and sore. The difficulty in not being able to walk to the shops, take part in the usual exercise classes, coupled with the increase in stress and lowering in mood, is having some impact.

To keep active, try to find a regular slot in your day to participate in a short exercise programme of strengthening and stretching. An example can be found here on our You Tube channel or described in our previous blog article.

If you are interested in a more formal set up, Kate will be introducing a weekly Zoom exercise class so get in touch if you would be interested in joining it.

Sudden re-uptake of activities or uptake of new activities

The final example of what we are seeing more of are overuse injuries. These occur when there is a sudden increase in activity. We saw several of these when the golf courses re-opened, tennis was allowed once again and the gyms re-opened.

After a prolonged break, muscles have weakened due to disuse. A sudden increase in demand on muscles can result in them yielding.

The same applies to taking up a new sport or activity. Just because you are fit for one activity doesn’t necessarily mean you are fit for a different one.

We wrote about this in a previous blog post, in the early stages of lock down, as some people began to take up running when the gyms were closed and sport was stopped.

All these issues can be resolved with a guided rehabiliation programme from one of our knowledgeable physiotherapists at NYP.

If you are struggling, then please do get in touch and see if we can help you.

Toe nails

Yes, even toe nails are feeling the impact of Covid. They aren’t being painted as often!!

We have a number of clients apologising for their chipped toe nail varnish! ? Although I did have one gentleman apologise to me for his sparkly nail varnish kindly applied by his daughter as he slept!