Please phone the number above during working hours to make an appointment. Our reception service will be happy to book your session.
10 min. walk from Boston Manor Tube Station.
15 min. walk from Northfields Tube Station.
E8, E3, E2, 207, 607, 83
Physiotherapy treatment plays an integral part in the health and wellbeing of millions of people across the country. This is all the more true now as we face the coronavirus crisis and the effects of contracting and recovering from the virus, or the indirect consequences of quarantine, lockdown and self-isolation.
Since the first case of Covid-19 in the UK was identified at the end of January the coronavirus pandemic has changed all our lives. At the beginning of July 2020, the total number of confirmed cases stands at 313,483. And although the daily number of new cases is falling and the countrywide lockdown is slowly easing, we’re all likely to be dealing with this virus and its effects for a long while yet.
People have coped in diverse ways during the pandemic. Almost all of us have made significant changes to our daily lives, whether it be the 87% of Britons who have avoided crowded areas, shops (73%), or taking public transport (84%). We’re also wary of social distancing and regularly washing our hands. And this is before we get into how our working habits, leisure activities and relationships have been affected.
Around 14% of people who contract Covid-19 have severe infections from the coronavirus and another 6% need hospitalisation for critical illness. Tragically, over 44,000 people in Britain have lost their lives to this severe, highly infectious respiratory disease.
Thankfully, most people with Covid-19 recover, but for patients who have been in intensive care for long periods or on ventilators under medically induced comas, recuperation may be a lengthy and difficult process. Especially as those most likely to suffer badly are already vulnerable to underlying conditions.
The UK’s heroic health workers have been doing a brilliant job day in, day out to help people deal with this crisis. Whether it’s treating people recovering from severe cases of Covid-19 or advising those in lockdown with their physical wellbeing and general health, one group of healthcare professionals who are indispensable at this time are physiotherapists.
A serious respiratory illness like Covid-19 requires specialist physiotherapists to monitor patients’ lung function, oxygen levels and blood test results. Rehabilitation post-infection is also a critical time for physios to step in and ensure that patients make a full physical recovery.
Severe cases of the coronavirus will often cause patients to experience difficulty breathing due to lung infection and excess mucus buildup.
Healthy lungs are lined with some mucus to lubricate and protect them during normal function. Having too much mucus, however, can limit the amount of oxygen the lungs can absorb and may result in a cough to get rid of the excess.
Physiotherapists can help with this in various ways. Firstly, they can teach patients breathing techniques to make it easier for them to shift mucus. Trying to tackle shortness of breath can be tiring for patients, so finding ways to limit laboured breathing and adjusting positioning are an essential task physiotherapists deal with.
Lying face down, for example, helps increase oxygen levels in patients’ blood. Lying on the side can also be beneficial.
In more advanced cases, physiotherapists may suction mucus out of the lungs of patients on ventilators to maintain their oxygen levels. Physiotherapists are specially trained in respiratory treatments and so are a crucial part of the intensive care team in a hospital.
For the elderly and those with underlying conditions, recovery from a major illness is not easy. For those who do make it through a severe bout of COVID-19, they may have spent many weeks on a ventilator or just in bed.
This can result in weakness and decreased mobility. Physiotherapy treatment after the illness is essential to help patients get back to normal.
At its most basic, physiotherapy for coronavirus patients involves getting them to move their limbs and body as much as possible whilst in bed. Keeping even a small amount of mobility going can be very beneficial.
However, with the fatigue and reduced oxygen levels that many COVID-19 sufferers have experienced, even these small movements can be very difficult. Physiotherapists need to keep a close watch on patients’ vital signs to ensure recovering mobility is safe.
As recovery develops, increasing mobility exercises such as sitting up, standing and eventually walking become part of the treatment regime, until the physiotherapist is happy that the patient is physically fit enough to go home.
It’s also worth noting that some of the physiotherapy treatment being given during the pandemic is remote. With current technology, monitoring vital signs remotely and delivering treatment over the internet are powerful tools. This can help protect healthcare workers, keep down physiotherapy treatment costs, and maintain patient recovery after they’ve returned home.
Even if you haven’t contracted the coronavirus, staying fit and physically healthy when gyms are closed and exercise outside has been limited can be challenging.
As experts of the human body, physiotherapists are well placed to advise on how to stay active, both for general wellbeing and even to help prevent contracting Covid-19.
As we all know, regular exercise is a critical part of mental and physical health. UK government guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week.
The health benefits of regular physical activity include increased strength and stamina, better posture and flexibility, better mood, more sleep and energy, and prevention against heart disease, diabetes and other issues.
So how can you keep up with this level of activity during a lockdown? Here’s a list of recommended ways to keep fit and active during the pandemic:
All you need is a bit of floor space (and maybe a mat). Stretching and core workouts give you better flexibility and strength, encourage good breathing, and can even add the benefits of mindfulness and meditation at the same time. There are thousands of yoga and pilates classes to tune into online.
In most of the UK, we are no longer restricted as to how long we can exercise outdoors. So it doesn’t matter if you can’t get to a treadmill or cross-trainer – the world outside your front door is unlimited! If you’re not a runner, start slow with a 10-minute walk and work your way up. The point is to just get the blood pumping. Use apps like Couch to 5k for motivation and guidance. And make sure to maintain social distancing when out in the park and wash your hands thoroughly when you get back.
Many gym-deprived personal trainers are taking their fitness expertise to the internet to lead live and recorded High-Intensity Interval Training classes. You only need 75 minutes of activity a week if it’s very intense, so this is a great way to get it over with quickly. Especially good if you prefer a short, hard session to a long, drawn-out jog.
Strength training is excellent for posture, tone and general fitness. Plus, the more muscle you have, the more calories they burn – aiding weight loss. You don’t have to buy expensive dumbbells during the lockdown. Cans of food, bottles of water or shopping bags can go a long way. And don’t forget callisthenics – bodyweight exercises can be more than sufficient for a good, muscle-building regime.
Being sedentary is unhealthy in itself. If you’re working from home and find yourself sat in front of a computer for hours at a time, break it up. Take time out, go for a walk, do an hour’s work standing up. Even little movements like heel raises can help. And do household chores – a good house cleaning can be as aerobic as a session in the gym.
Regular exercise and physical health have been shown to boost the immune system. So make physical activities part of your daily routine to ensure you’re less susceptible to coronavirus and other illnesses.
We’re also lucky enough in the UK that we can now meet up with other households if we’re not shielding. Arrange to meet a friend or relative in a park and exercise together to keep each other motivated.
Much physiotherapy treatment involves hands-on massage, manipulation and mobilisation. This makes it tricky to treat patients when social distancing is in place.
However, as mentioned, a good physiotherapist can give a lot of advice and suggest exercises remotely over the internet. At CK Physio we offer online appointments and have ways of practising strict social distancing to assist patients who need therapy in person.
Our clinic in Ealing is open to patients who need us after a compulsory over-the-phone triage session. See here for full details of our COVID-19 preparedness measures.
If you need physio treatment, exercise management, ultrasound, soft tissue massage or assistance dealing with and recovering from Covid-19, the health professionals at CK Physio are here to help. Give us a call to book your consultation at 020 8566 4113 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.