The Physical Results of Patients with Covid-19 are Critical

The physical consequences of the pandemic on the human body are critical
The physical consequences of the pandemic on the human body are critical

Stating that increased inactivity during the pandemic period causes muscle loss, Physiotherapy Specialist Assoc. Dr. Hasan Kerem Alptekin stated that physical therapy can be a savior in improving the respiratory, physiological and psychological dysfunctions of patients with Covid-19 infection.

Experts state that patients with Covid-19 disease may have 2 percent muscle loss on two-day bed rest and 10 percent muscle loss in large muscle groups on one-week bed rest. Making important statements on the subject, Bahçeşehir University Head of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Department Assoc. Dr. Hasan Kerem Alptekin said, “In the period of inactivity of 3-4 weeks, an average of 10-15 beats increase in heart rate and a decrease in heart reserve occur”. Alptekin also underlined that insulin resistance may develop in patients during this period, insulin use of the muscles may be impaired and irregularities in blood sugar may occur.


On September 8, 'International Physiotherapy Day', Physical Therapy Specialist Assoc. Dr. Hasan Kerem Alptekin said; “The negative effects of inactivity on the human body began to be observed along with the burden of sitting in front of a computer for hours on the spine. The effects of immobilization had significant effects on the muscle, cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous systems. It is a well-known fact that 2 percent of quadriceps (thigh) muscle strength is lost with just two days of rest, and that even one week of bed rest causes muscle loss at the level of 10 percent in large muscle groups. In addition, the development of insulin resistance, impaired insulin use of the muscles and irregularities in blood sugar occur with inactivity. Rest not only causes loss of muscle strength, but also negatively affects protein synthesis between muscles and nerve cells. In order to maintain the functions of mitochondria (one of the organelles that make up the cell) in a healthy way, resistant, high-intensity and aerobic exercises must be done together. Studies have also found that exercises performed with only body weight can replace exercises with standard weights. While an increase in muscle protein breakdown is observed even with only 10 days of inactivity, a low physical activity of 750 steps per day leads to significant regressions in both metabolic and muscle protein synthesis within 2 weeks. On the contrary, a moderate level of physical activity that goes over 2 steps for 5.000 weeks cannot reverse these bad results so quickly.


Drawing attention to the resting period of individuals with Covid-19 disease, Alptekin said that 2 weeks of rest at home caused a 7% decrease in aerobic capacity. Underlining that the effects of this situation are two times greater in the over 60 age group than in other adults, Assoc. Dr. Hasan Kerem Alptekin, “In previous studies, an average increase in heart rate of 3-4 beats and a decrease in heart reserve were observed during the 10-15 week inactivity period. Exercising regularly allows reaching maximum muscle volume and strength at the age of 20-25, and at the same time, elite athletes who exercise regularly throughout their lives have 30 percent more muscle strength than their peers.”


Physical Therapist Assoc. Dr. Hasan Kerem Alptekin emphasized the importance of daily activities and said; “We should keep our daily physical activity level at least 30 minutes and above with the support of various mobile applications during the periods when we are closed at home during the epidemic. Because sedentary times lead to a shortened human lifespan. Children and teenagers can also get through this period with less problems with gamified exercises. "Our hope is to increase the time we spend outdoors, where physical activity is best done, with vaccination and the decreasing number of cases," he said. Alptekin also touched upon the treatments they used: “The subjects targeted by the physical therapist in the follow-up of patients after Covid-19 include reducing dyspnea symptoms (acute shortness of breath), reducing loss of function, preventing possible complications, protecting physical function, reducing anxiety and depression, and improving quality of life. gets. After the active period of the acute infection (7 days), giving bed positions and changing positions frequently, especially in moderate-to-advanced disease findings, mobilization (sitting the patient in bed and next to the bed, trying to give a standing position to varying degrees with a tilt table), mobilization tolerant Treatment methods such as progressive ambulation using a walking aid are recommended in patients.”

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